By Mike Deak
WARSAW – As ‘summer break’ winds down, Warsaw Community High School looks back on a successful summer from a camp standpoint. In the past two weeks, the school’s football, volleyball and baseball programs all hosted well-attended and well-received camps for the next generation of potential Tigers.
Warsaw held its Tiger Cub and Junior Tiger camps at the end of July. The week-long organization saw a record number of participants crossing the border of 200 individuals, a lively camp full of instruction and game play.
Led by Warsaw Community High School football assistant coach Michael Curtis and head coach Bart Curtis, the camp adjusted to its masks and some heat. The campers were put through daily stations called the “county fair” which emphasized the key components and skills necessary for success in the Warsaw football program. Some of those components included blocking angles, blocking techniques, tackling, ball security and pursuit.
Campers also received camp T-shirts and jerseys along with daily games in addition to the instruction.
“Special thanks to all of the Tiger football moms that helped out with the daily exit treats the campers received,” noted Bart Curtis. “This was truly a combined team effort to pull off such a successful camp of this magnitude in a climate of (uncertainty). Based upon what was seen and displayed this past week, Tiger football looks to have a great future.”
The volleyball program hosted a two-day specialty camp in the Tiger Den featuring Hall of Fame coach Steve Shondell.
With over 1,200 wins and 21 state championships, Shondell brought a bevy of tips and training measures to share with Warsaw’s contingent. From ‘putting the ball on the shelf’ during service techniques to placing serves in box two, the future of Warsaw volleyball found out some of the secrets that made and continue to make Shondell’s teams so successful.
“For me, Steve has been a mentor for so long, as well as his brothers at Purdue, that any time I can learn from them, and now, be the new coach here at Warsaw, it’s certainly beneficial for me as well,” said Hepler, who had anyone from elementary-aged to high school seniors on the court contributing. “The girls understand what it takes to be a winning program. They see it at this camp, but this is just part of their training. They know it takes work, and Steve stressed that a lot out here.”
Warsaw baseball continue to climb out of the void left by spring’s cancellation, and were pleasantly surprised to see a huge turnout for its three-day baseball camp at the high school.
Warsaw varsity head coach Andy Manes noted the camp eclipsed 100 players after its first two days, which took on a series of drill stations and competitions. Each day ended with games, whether wiffle ball or otherwise, the campers were constantly moving and absorbing at the same time.
“The numbers were probably a little higher than we expected because people are still wanting to get back out,” said Manes, who ran the camp with the help of assistant coach Adam Augustine and staff, along with a handful of high school players.
“We split the kids up (Wednesday) and played wiffle ball the final 40 minutes, and I was telling my wife, it sounded like recess. They were screaming, yelling, playing. Having fun. Parents had smiles on their faces.
“It’s absolutely what we wanted.”