Volleyball camp outgrows Mancos

Journal/Sam Green

Adams State College coach Lindy Mortensen instructs high school volleyball players at the 2011 Four Corners Volleyball Camp at Mancos High School. This year, the camp will be held in Cortez at Montezuma-Cortez High School and Cortez Middle School to accommodate the increased number of campers.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

The annual Four Corners Volleyball camp, in association with Adams State College and Mancos High School, keeps on growing.

It’s a camp for middle school and high school volleyball players, who want to have a college volleyball camp experience at an affordable price.

This concept has resonated greatly, as the number of campers has increased every year. Last summer, the amount of participants was simply too big for MHS.

“I’d like to give Mona credit for promoting the camp,” said ASC coach Lindy Mortensen, who will assist MHS head coach and camp clinician Ramona Shepherd in running the camp for the eight consecutive year. “Every summer, it’s been a consistent camp for us. She’s grown it to add a couple more courts and we appreciate that.”

Shepherd called her friends in Mortensen and Montezuma-Cortez High School volleyball coach Barbara Chappell to brainstorm. The sum 80 to 90 campers last year was great. But to have the ultimate camping experience, Shepherd and Mortensen have partnered with Chappell to hold the camp in Cortez on June 18-20.

Three courts will be used at both M-CHS and Cortez Middle School to accommodate each camper. The middle school kids will be at CMS and the high school players will compete at M-CHS for three days.

“With a larger camp, I can afford to bring more of our players,” said Mortensen of her Grizzlies assistants. “We’re bringing a player from every position this year. When you have more kids at a camp, I think each court is a little more competitive. They’re more balanced in skill. It’s good to have more players to draw from in skill. That benefits the campers.”

Having a player coach at every skill position is something that Mortensen feels will keep her and Shepherd’s skills camp growing in the future.

“That’s the plan right now, is to have a big Four Corners camp,” she said. “It really enables us to see a lot of kids in the state. It gives us the opportunity to see a lot kids and meet a lot of coaches. It’s great for our campers to see our players and it helps them, too.”

Mortensen will also be coaching inside the M-CHS Gym once again. She led the Lady Panthers to a 193-46 volleyball record from 1996-2004, including six straight Southwestern League titles. Chappell was an assistant on Mortensen’s staff at the time.

“I’m excited. Barbara Chappell was my assistant in Cortez for a while. It’s just really fun to work with these coaches,” Mortensen said. “Being back in the Cortez Gym, we have a lot of good memories there. My kids had a good experience there. My husband coached (boys basketball) there. Cortez was and always will be a big part our lives.”

Mortensen’s daughter, Annie Rice, played for her mom at M-CHS. Rice moved onto play two years at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling before playing two years and graduating at Fort Lewis College in Durango. She will help assist with the camp as well.

“Me and Mona share a lot of the same philosophies in coaching. That makes it nice to do a camp with them,” said Mortensen.

Forms and permission slips can be obtained from the following: Call or write Shepherd at 560-1411 or ramonashepherd@hotmail.com. For Cortez, call Chappell at 570-9990. At CMS, forms can be picked up from Kent Russell. Dolores kids can see Dave Hopscia and kids in Dove Creek need to see coach Scott Knuckles.

All checks are to be payable to Mancos volleyball.

Reach Bobby Abplanalp at bobbya@cortezjorunal.com.

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