WILLIAMSTOWN - The Wood County Christian volleyball team began its quest for a third consecutive state championship Tuesday, as the Lady Wildcats opened their preseason camp. The camp will also take place today and Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. each day.
Marietta High volleyball coach Ron Kidder is the director of the camp. Kidder ran the players through several different drills and activities throughout the day and also handed out some pointers, most notably when he quoted famed Star Wars character, Yoda, telling the players "Do, or do not. There is no try."
An unorthodox method, perhaps, but Kidder, a winner of over 300 games during his time at Marietta and Warren, certainly knows what he is talking about.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Ron Kidder leads Wood County Christian volleyball players through a drill during Tuesday's in-house camp in Williamstown. Kidder, head volleyball coach at Marietta High, is the camp director.
Wood County Christian coach Mike Conaway believes having a new voice lead the way for a short period of time is a good change of pace.
"Ron has been very successful," Conaway said. "He's a good coach and a good teacher. And versus just me running the in-house camp, somebody different can a lot of times be more successful because (the players) are gonna hear me for about three months."
WCCS is using this week to prepare for the start of official team practices beginning Aug. 4. Coming off a 33-8 campaign that led to a state title last season, expectations are high for this fall.
"Last year's team had it all," Conaway said. "Most versatile team I've had. A lot of different times I had to have new people step in because of sickness, injuries. Had more injuries than I've ever had in my life last year. But we were good enough that I could change things around and still be OK.
"This year, I'm not sure there on the depth. I'm hoping we can have about six to eight (players) that can definitely help and be a part of it. I'm not sure after that. We'll just have to see. We've got some good potential."
Conaway mostly observed Tuesday's camp and let Kidder run things, giving him an opportunity to evaluate what he has going into the season. The team is expecting to have good overall numbers, but more so in the freshman and sophomore classes than in the upper classes. The in-house camp could give some of those underclassmen a chance to shine and get a leg up on the competition once Conaway puts together his varsity roster. They just have to take advantage of the opportunity. "Ron and myself both have tried to emphasize the quality of doing things," Conaway said, "whether it's passing, setting, any of the different drills. That's the thing I like with Ron. Ron works well with them as far as, if they're not doing it well, he's very patient with them. I like that because then when they get a little success and do it correctly, that's the key to getting it to a place where they are doing it well."