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New Barton head volleyball coach Shoemaker's camp predicated on individual instruction
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From left, Madison Schneider, Gentry Schneider, Hunter Ruppe, Grace Soupiset, Baylea Dennett and Gentry Stone listen to instruction from Barton Community College head volleyball coach Phil Shoemaker during his one-day camp on Friday for area youths, ages 10-13, at the Panther Athletic Center. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

On Friday morning, the Panther Athletic Center was the site of the Barton Community College Lady Cougars volleyball camp.

First-year Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker, a 33-year veteran of coaching volleyball, mentored six campers, ages 10 through 13, in the one-day camp.

"I think they certainly got a lot of individual attention," said Shoemaker, who will begin his first season this fall at Barton after coaching the previous 13 seasons at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. "Especially, with some of the younger ages, they might have a little bit of a difficult time in retaining their focus when we give them too much instruction at one time.

"I think they retained the information and worked hard. When they left the gym at the end of the day, I think they were dragging a little bit."

The camp ran two hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon, according to Shoemaker.

"I thought it was a great day, and we encouraged them to go home and practice it over the summer," he said. "Hopefully, they'll be a better volleyball player when their season starts.

"At an early age, they develop more concepts on how it should be done. It's just about getting more repetition, more repetition, more repetition over time."

Prior to coaching at Alaska-Fairbanks, Shoemaker coached at Wichita State from 1983-1999, winning 243 matches to become the second-winningest volleyball coach in Shockers history. During his time at WSU, Shoemaker became the first coach to lead the Shockers to four consecutive berths in the conference tournament and the first to lead them to five straight winning seasons.

Shoemaker and his wife Dianne have a son, Tanner, who recently signed to play baseball at Barton. Tanner helped his father run the camp.

Shoemaker also had a small high school camp on Saturday, where he gave instruction to four individuals.