Nearly 100 Mountain Area youth learned the basic skills of a variety of sports recently at the third annual Badger Youth Sports Camp at Yosemite High School.
Attended by third-eighth grade boys and girls, the camp provided instruction in the basic skills of basketball, volleyball, track & field, football, baseball, softball, wrestling, swimming, soccer, and pep and cheer.
“The essentials of these sports were taught in a positive atmosphere with lots of encouragement,” said Pat Lynch, camp director and Yosemite High assistant football coach. “The camp also provided participants a great way to stay active, while meeting new friends and learning new sports.”
Four sessions were held each morning to teach the fundamentals of football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, swimming, golf, soccer, softball, baseball, tennis, track, cross country, and pep and cheer.
“Whatever level of skill the children had on the first day, they all showed improvement by the end of camp,” Lynch said.
The students were provided lunch and nutritional snacks each day along with a variety of fun games. After lunch, all the camp participants headed to the Yosemite High pool where Brandon Brokaw, and student assistants, worked with the campers on their swim strokes.
Yosemite cross country coach Ellen Peterson said the coaching staff at the camp received great feedback from all the students who participated as well as the parents.
It was Lynch, who is also the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader at Yosemite, who came up with the idea three years ago to create an all sports camp for Mountain Area children to enjoy, while raising some funds for Badger athletics. YHS Athletic Director Michelle Chenowith, oversees the program.
“The vision of the camp was to give each camper the opportunity to learn a new sport that Yosemite High has to offer and to connect with the students,” said Lynch. “
Lynch said life skills were also taught during camp.
“We feel that in addition to learning athletic skills, it is important these young students learn how to be the best competitor they can be, how to be a great teammate on and off the field, and showing your pride toward your school,” Lynch said. “Camp was about the students having the opportunity to try something new, and hopefully grow a little as a person.”
Yosemite High coaches who participated in the camp were Lynch (football), Ellen Peterson (track & field / cross country), Brandon Brokaw (swimming), Kyle Lincoln (wrestling), Stan Lawrence (tennis), Vanessa Jasper (soccer), Michele Chenowith (volleyball), JD Burnett (football), Suzette Combs (softball/baseball), Rusty Oetinger (golf), and Jennifer Lincoln (pep and cheer). Lincoln was assisted by Cindy Tanoury and 2008 49er cheerleader Brittany Shapiro.
Yosemite High athletes served as camp leaders with additional athletes assisting in specific sports.
“The YHS student-athletes did a great job assisting with the camp,” said YHS volleyball coach and recent Athletic Director Michelle Chenowith. “We could not have done this camp without them ... and for the third year, the camp proved to be an excellent experience for everyone.”
Chenowith said she received lots of positive feedback from camp participants and parents.
“We are already planning for next year’s sports camp, and ways to make it bigger and better,” Chenowith said.
Yosemite athletic trainer Cari Rumhor also volunteered her time throughout the four-day camp.
The camp raised $4,000 for YHS athletics.
In addition to the sports camp, After a couple years hiatus, the Yosemite Badger’s Basketball Camp for elementary school boys and girls returned to the YHS campus after a couple years hiatus.
YHS varsity girls basketball coach Gary Blate, and girls JV coach James Anderson ran the camp teaching the fundamentals of individual and team basketball.
“The purpose of the camp is to allow young players to become familiar with the gym and the Yosemite Badgers basketball program before they enter their freshman year at YHS,” Blate said.