Centre hockey camp draws Louisville girls

June 24, 2004|JILL ERWIN

They came all the way from Louisville, but the 15 girls who made up the first Centre College field hockey camp knew they were lucky to stay so close to home.

Centre's is one of only a couple of field hockey camps inside the state lines. Otherwise, the girls travel to schools such as North Carolina or Old Dominion for camps.

The private school students from middle schools and high schools around Louisville said it was nice to have a quality camp so close to home, and the small size made it easier for them to get individual instruction.

Centre coach Tom Hobbs was thrilled with how his first camp went off.

"I'm very pleased with the number of kids we've got and with how they've progressed," Hobbs said. "All the sessions ran very smoothly. The most important thing is they learned a lot and they had a great time."


The campers went through up to three sessions a day before closing out the camp Wednesday with a skills competition and scrimmage.

It was a young group, with some eighth-graders and a large group of freshmen mixed in with one sophomore and one senior.

"It's sort of difficult being the oldest person, but everyone's just been cool and fun so it hasn't really been a problem," said Collegiate senior Lu Jessee. "Tom is really nice and I've learned a lot. The coaches are really cool and everyone's really nice."

Jessee has attended a camp at Old Dominion, and she said the Collegiate team has gone to Sauk Valley, Mich., to play.

Sacred Heart freshman Alex Holloway attended a camp at North Carolina last year, but said this opportunity was too good to pass up.

"My friends and I went to a camp similar to this one last year," Holloway said. "We just loved it, so we looked around for other camps and we found this one. They said it was the first year and we just thought it would be awesome."

While Jessee and Holloway were old pros when it came to field hockey camps, eighth-grader Dorothy McKay was a rookie. McKay, who attends Collegiate, had never played field hockey before camp started Sunday.

Hobbs said he was impressed with how quickly McKay picked up the game. She said she came to have fun and to try something new.

Her friends were coming, and she decided to join them.

"I just really wanted to try the sport because I had been playing soccer and it looked like it was fun," McKay said.

Holloway and Jessee both said the small camp size allowed them to stand out a little more and receive more specialized instruction.

"It's awesome how it's so small and I definitely feel like I'm getting more attention," Holloway said. "I've definitely improved over the past four days."

"I really like that a lot, actually," Jessee said. "You get to know each other really well and it's a little less competitive than some of the other camps I've been to."

Jessee said she was considering coming to Centre next year and wanted to get a better look at the school and its coach. Hobbs said the camp allowed the students to see Centre and also to learn more about the game.

"I started it up to expose them to our college and our program at a younger age so as they're going through high school, they become more familiar with what we're doing here," Hobbs said.

"We've done a lot of basic skills this week, and we've also exposed them to more advanced skills so they can work on those and just become more familiar with the amazing things you can do with a hockey stick and a ball."

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