STEVENSVILLE — Kent Island High School Varsity Volleyball Coach Patrick Hopkins and JV Coach Glenn Brainer hosted the first volleyball camp at the high school June 27-30 for children, ages 7 to 14.
Some 48 athletes, all girls, went through a number of volleyball drills during the four-day camp, refining their ball control skills.
Both Hopkins and Brainer are Foundations of Technology teachers at KI High, and both graduated from Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, but during different years. Hopkins has been the head volleyball coach since 2006.
He said, “We’ve always been competitive, and had a number of very good volleyball teams at KIHS. We’ve had several teams with 13-2 regular season records. Last year’s team did that, but went further into the playoffs than ever before. It was the first time in school history with won our sectional championship. We’ve made a new level of improvement!”
Brainer, in his 38th year of teaching, coached the school’s baseball team until 2007. He recently transitioned to volleyball, however, it’s not a new sport for him. Brainer began his teaching career in Anne Arundel County Public Schools teaching at Southern, Arundel and Broadneck high schools before moving to Kent Island. At Broadneck, Brainer started and coached the girls volleyball program.
Brainer said, “My oldest children were girls, and they played volleyball, so I naturally supported their interests. I helped start volleyball at Broadneck and eventually the program won some state championships.”
Hopkins and Brainer are strong believers in the values children can learn through properly run sports programs: teamwork, discipline, personal focus, competitive drive, and most importantly, sportsmanship.
Hopkins said, “The past four years we’ve had more and more girls come out for volleyball. It used to be that whoever came out made the team. However, we have now had to cut players because of the larger numbers trying out. Within the county, those who don’t make the team have no where else to turn to play volleyball. It would help if we could offer a freshman team in volleyball. That would help the girls who are interested and keep them developing their skills.”
Brainer added, “Out of the 48 kids at the camp, 27 will be freshman at KIHS this fall. Those kids who don’t make the team, where do they go in the county to improve their skills in a hope of eventually making the team here at KIHS in the future? No where. I don’t think that’s fair. They should have an alternative. There should be a Rec league, or a freshman team through the schools. We have freshman teams in other sports, but not volleyball.”
The cost for sponsoring a freshman team at KIHS would be minimal, they said.
Hopkins said, “The challenge for a freshman team would be finding other schools who also have freshman teams and making a functional schedule.”