Archive for Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Camp, set, spike

THS volleyball coach brings top area stars to town for day clinic

June 16, 2004

Baldwin's Emily Brown will face some of the top teams in Division 1 volleyball when she begins her career at Kansas this fall under KU coach Ray Bechard.

Shawnee Heights graduate Erica Cowhick and Central Heights graduate Mandi Cox will be at Washburn in a few months with former Tonganoxie coach Chris Herron. And as Ichabods, they'll tackle plenty of competition in the MIAA conference.

Before they take on college volleyball, however, they are helping aspiring young players learn fundamentals.

The Francis Sporting Goods club team, coached by THS coach Tiffany Parker and athletics director Brandon Parker, conducted a clinic June 6 in the Tonganoxie Junior High gymnasium.

About 30 youngsters attended the afternoon clinic. First- through fourth-graders participated first with a two-hour session shortly after noon and fifth- through eighth-graders had their session right after the younger students.

"Those little kids were fun," Tiffany Parker said. "Our kids all said how well-mannered they were."

Campers worked first-hand with some of the top athletes in area.

Brown recently was named to a youth national team and will practice in July in the Olympic training center. She also was named the 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year.

Eudora's Lauren Kracl, a standout in volleyball, basketball and softball at EHS, will play volleyball at Missouri Western.

The nine-person club team will travel this month for nationals in Houston.

Brandon Parker said the team attracted 50 campers for a clinic in Baldwin just before the Tonganoxie camp.

The Parkers also conducted a weeklong camp for junior high players that concluded Friday. Brandon Parker thought that might have had an effect on some junior high aged players not coming to the one-day camp.

On the high school level, the Chieftains kept the Parker duo busy with their team camp last week also.

Some team members also are playing local club volleyball weekly at Sport 2 Sport in Lawrence.

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