Record number of participants in weeklong IR volleyball camp

With the success of both the Indian River High School boys’ and girls’ volleyball programs, the sport is truly growing by leaps and bounds. It certainly helps to have a couple of diehards spearing the area’s efforts to “Grow the Sport.”

Bill Croal, along with Selbyville Middle School coaches Sally Craig and Ashley Revel, welcomed 52 campers — a record number for the event — to their weeklong volleyball camp last week. The campers were from 11 area schools, including fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

“Our focus during this camp was ‘touches per hour,’ to give each camper the opportunity to touch the ball in a learning manner as many times as possible each hour,” Croal said of the camp. “Along with the ‘three-touch philosophy, where the campers use three hits to get the volleyball over the net, we covered skills that included passing, serving, serve receiving, setting, spiking, digging and fitness.

“It was all done while promoting having fun. The campers also experienced lots of fun activities that encouraged them to make new friends while at camp.”

Croal, Craig and Revel were assisted by two other experienced coaches, as well as seven high school volunteers and five other adult volunteers during the camp. There were seven courts set up to accommodate the large number of campers who were participating.

Parents were encouraged to come into the gym each day at the end of the session to watch the scrimmage games to see the skills learned by the players.

“My goals for our next ‘Grow the Sport’ efforts are to start a boys’ youth volleyball program to help develop the high school players of the future,” Croal added. “I want to petition the State of Delaware Parks & Recreation Division to install summer volleyball courts on the state park beaches.

“I would also like to increase the number of locations of our Youth Volleyball Academy classes run by the Indian River School District Community Education Program. I really want to give special thanks to Michele Murphy, the IRSD Adult Education coordinator, for her unwavering support of our volleyball programs.”

Croal is employing his desire, drive and determination to help continue his vision of “Grow the Sport” in the community, with the backing of several people who share that vision. And with the IR boys’ team’s undefeated season and state championship this past spring, along with the success of the IR and Selbyville girls’ programs these past few years, more young players can be expected to help the program grow.


By Jason Feather

Staff Reporter