A little ‘MUDD’ doesn’t hurt
Volleyball was scarce in Pueblo West during the time of the high school’s inception.
With the inaugural 1997 volleyball season set to kick off that September, now 17-year coach Casey King needed a way to expose girls to the sport.
“There wasn’t a lot going on out here because it was a brand new high school,” King said.
“We wanted to prepare them for the next stage because it is a big jump from junior high to high school volleyball.
“The idea was if they could see what high school programs are doing and see what’s expected of high school programs it would be an easier transition.”
Nearly two decades of success illustrates the Cyclones camp motivated those youth.
The 17th annual Cyclones volleyball camp took place last week and experienced one of its best outputs ever.
The Cyclones camp saw the most youth campers in its history with more than 90 participants.
The older campers had more than 50 on their side making attention difficult to spread between 140 participants.
One of the most difficult components of the camp is managing the numbers due to the coach-to-player ratio.
The coaches, however, do manage to satisfy the needs of all the campers.
“We try to make sure that the drills are set up so that the time out is minimal,” King said.
“We make sure everyone is busy and make sure everyone benefits from it.”
The junior Cyclones are drilled with the fundamentals of volleyball to hone their skills.
They play the game in a controlled environment to have success.
Those skills serve them well as they transition to the later ranks.
Girls coming over from the middle school level receive the added luxury of making a smooth transition from middle school to high school by skipping the soreness that accompanies the first few practices.
They’re also fortunate enough to get a peek at some of the drills such as passing, serving and game-play type drills so the first-day learning curve is miniscule.
“We give them a lot of fundamental drills on every aspect of the game,” King said. “We’ll set them up in teams of six and do some scrimmages. The idea is every time they serve, they try to win that point.”
Cyclones assistant coach Brandi Menegatti directs the cardio portion of the camp.
As the girls head track coach, Menegatti understands how to get players in shape. Campers do everything from sprint work to yoga to keep in shape.
“We’re trying to train the whole body not just for running or lifting weights,” King said. “The idea is to be completely fit.”
King preferred not to discuss how much the school made from the camp citing that it was internal school information, but he did praise the community for helping out with the youth regardless of economic situations.
“We appreciate everybody supporting the team,” he said.
“I know it’s tough economical times. The help is very much appreciated.”