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Jimmies host volleyball camps throughout the summer

The campers play multiple matches a day to work on their skills.

UJ Volleyball Campers
Campers at the University of Jamestown Senior Volleyball camp listen to former Jimmie Coley Warren on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at Harold Newman Arena.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — Before they stepped foot on campus and became University of Jamestown student-athletes, some current Jimmies got their starts by attending the Jimmies volleyball camps, held annually throughout the summer.

The camp has been running since at least the mid-2000s and has produced names such as Anna and Ellie Holen, Kaydn Mehring, Megan Moser and Kalli and Grace Hegerle for Jimmies head coach Jon Hegerle and his predecessor, Chris Mahoney.

The first camp of the 2022 summer ran from June 15-17 for middle school players, followed by one for high schoolers who know their position on the floor, which ran June 19-22. After those two camps, Hegerle and his staff run two team camps and another junior and senior camp before a tune-up camp in late July.

“Obviously, we have a lot of campers and our staff loves coming back,” Hegerle said. “We have a lot of alum and getting caught up. There are coaches here that I’ve known for 30 years that I’ve coached with that are great coaches. It’s all about volleyball, it’s all about relationships. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship. I love that part of it but it’s a lot of work as well, so when it’s over we breathe a big sigh of relief.”

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The camps have grown over the years as the camp has seen a jump from 160 campers per camp in the 2020 camp compared to the 220 players that were at the senior high camp, and the 350 players at the team camp. The amount of players forces the Jimmies to get creative as they are renting the Jamestown High School basketball court and using the Newman Arena floor as well as setting up courts inside the Larson Sport Center.

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“One of the things that I decided when I got here is that certainly, I have to go out and recruit but it would be great if we could figure out how to get good players to come here and be on campus,” Hegerle said. “There are a lot of players that we have signed that have been significant players for us that we first saw them at our camp.”

One of the hardest parts of the camp from Hegerle’s perspective is the organization part of the camp.

“I don’t work with the campers nearly as much as I would like to,” Hegerle said. “That’s just because I’m the one who is organizing where everybody goes and knowing where everyone is and making sure everybody is where they are supposed to be. There are a whole bunch of facets to every camp. Usually, I’m here at 5:30, 6 in the morning and I usually don’t leave until 10:30 at night.”

Hegerle said the campers are not just evaluated and scouted based on the eye test, which goes into the sheer volume of organization that goes into each camp.

“I have got probably 35 columns of information on every kid, from evaluations of individual skills to physical evaluations, play evaluations,” Hegerle said. “So I’m constantly sorting them based on certain criteria to put them in new competition groups so that it stays fresh.”

One player, who was at the 2021 junior camp, returned this year for the senior camp, and will be playing for the Jimmies in the fall, is Cheyanne Scalese. Scalese is not the only future Jimmie at the camp though as she is one of seven at the senior camp. As a result of being able to meet her future teammates, Scalise said it has helped her get comfortable and make friends.

“Last year when I came I had so much fun and just knowing I love the program so much, it definitely made me want to come here,” Scalese said.

Eighteen of the people who work at the camp are current Jimmies volleyball players, which helps Scalese and the future Jimmies get to know their future teammates.

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“It’s been interesting. They’re all super fun and I’ve loved getting to know each of them,” Scalese said.

Hegerle said current and future Jimmies interacting with each other is important for the team’s development, specifically speeds up the progress of incoming freshmen in the system and helps with off-the-floor adjustments.

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am the Sports Lead at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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