CAPTION: Numerous youngsters of various ages attend the Marble Falls Lady Mustang volleyball camp, which illustrates the interest in the sport and shows fans what’s coming especially from the elementary-aged students. Courtesy photo
One week before the start of the Marble Falls High School volleyball team’s two-a-days training camp, head coach Kait Goertz and her staff conducted a youth camp to give younger players an opportunity to learn.
The camp drew 60 youth in elementary and middle school and another 40 for the teen camp for high school players.
“That’s a total of 100 girls the gyms,” Goertz said. “The biggest thing that helped us this year is we split our younger ones into two separate camps. (The City of) Marble Falls (Parks and Recreation Department) started the city league, and it helped increase interest in volleyball at a younger age.”
The department’s co-ed league was in spring 2023 for youngsters ages 7-12. Recreation Manager Daulton Mobley of the City of Marble Falls’ Parks and Recreation Department noted the players received great instruction from volunteer coaches.
“Our youth sports leagues rely on volunteers to step up and coach teams,” he said. “In spring 2023 we had three volunteers who were volleyball collegiate athletes who coached teams to give back to the community and help share their love of the game with the athletes in the league.”
Matches and practices for the eight-week league were at Marble Falls Middle School. Registration cost was $75 and included a jersey and team photo.
Mobley said the department is planning on hosting the league again from March-May 2024. Registration for participants and volunteer coaches is at www.marblefallsrecreation.com.
As a result of the league, Goertz said, families contacted her with requests to learn more about the Lady Mustangs program and how to help their own athletes continue to play.
“I can honestly say that league was so successful this year,” Goertz said. “We have a lot of athletes coming up. Even if they don’t know volleyball yet, they’ve been playing. Sports is a big part of their lives. And it helps them so much. An athlete is an athlete. To me, that’s exciting.”
She highlighted the traits she saw from each age group that has her looking forward to the future.
“With the little ones, it’s about raw talent,” she said. “The natural athleticism you’re talking about hasn’t been developed yet. With our incoming freshmen, that’s where you see commitment. They start honing that in. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Marble Falls is going to have a couple of great years of volleyball, and I’m super excited about it. We wanted more there (at own camp). But definitely not disappointed by the turnout.”
Mobley was happy to know the league is providing so much for the youngest residents and for the Marble Falls Independent School District athletic department.
“We are excited for the future of the volleyball program, and we are excited to see the impact it has on the school volleyball teams,” he said. “We have a lot of athletes who fell in love with the game this season and are excited to see them return (for) the spring 2024 season.”
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CAPTION: Middle school-aged athletes have natural ability and a desire to get better, which excites coaches. Courtesy photo