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Statesboro hosts volleyball camp
SHS web
Alisha Ormond of Statesboro High practices her hitting during Statesboro High Volleyball Camp with head coach Bob Massee Thursday.

    Throughout the week, the old gym at Statesboro High has been playing host to the school's newest sport.
    Just five years old, the Statesboro volleyball program has quickly found its footing, both on the court and around the community. Hosting everyone from middle-schoolers just learning the game to seasoned veterans who will comprise the Lady Blue Devils' varsity squad this fall, the annual camp was a rousing success, drawing nearly 120 campers from Monday through Thursday.
    “It's amazing,” SHS coach Bob Massee said. “It's crazy to see how volleyball has changed in just a few years. This used to be a sport that was brand new to everyone. Now we have kids from Statesboro and from four other counties coming here and looking to learn the game.”
    For eight hours each day, groups of varying ages and skill levels took to the floor to work on serving, passing, spiking and plenty of fun and games geared toward providing a good working and improving overall knowledge of the sport.
    As the years have passed, Massee has seen the takeaway for campers grow. He cites that not to his own coaching, but rather the fact that he now has plenty of instructional help.
    The original SHS camp served as a de facto recruitment for the Devils' very first volleyball team. That squad featured just one girl who had ever played competitive volleyball before and the camp became a crash course in the bare essentials of learning to play the game.
    Nowadays, Statesboro players are able to enter the summer already up to speed and can use the camp to get a head start on the upcoming season.
    “As far as our high school players go, it's night and day from that first year,” Massee said. “Instead of going over rules and just learning how to get the ball over the net, we've got experienced girls who continue to get better and who can work on strategy and really improving our game.”
    An experienced varsity squad has now become a willing group of camp counselors.
    “This camp is a way to get girls interested in volleyball early on,” senior Kameron Parker said. “I think they're having fun learning the game and hopefully they'll want to continue that into high school.”
    A week full of fun has likely primed a future wave of Statesboro players, but with the camp now finished, the varsity Devils are looking to get down to business.
    Statesboro will once again have to contend with a tough region. The Devils have consistently overachieved in their young history, making several state playoff appearances and taking some perennial state powers to the brink in previous years.
    “Being in our region is tough,” Massee said. “But we won't back down from that. We aren't looking to be second best. We've worked hard to build our program over the last few years, and now the goal is to keep moving forward and accomplishing more.”