Former Olympian shares more than volleyball tips at Ramona camp

By Joe Naiman

Connie Halfaker, head coach of Ramona High's girls varsity team, organized this summer's volleyball camp, but she didn't lead all the sessions.

She left the two high school camps to former Olympic player Eric Sato.

Sato's activity on the United States national team included a gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

In addition to providing the high school players with volleyball tutoring, Sato spoke about life plan perspectives, being part of a team, and thinking about the future.

"He shared with us some of his life experiences, brought his medals for the kids to look at. He gave us more than just volleyball," Halfaker said.

The camp sessions included one for players expected to compete at the varsity level this year and one for incoming ninth-graders.

Halfaker's players assisted with the younger players — the returning varsity Bulldogs worked with the intermediate-level camp for more experienced players, and the returning junior varsity players worked with the beginning-level students.

"We had some brand new kids that had never played volleyball before," Halfaker said. "We also had kids at the high school level that were brand new to volleyball."

Camp was well-attended, she said, with about 70 participants, and there was "lots of enthusiasm, lots of smiling faces among the little kids."

Proceeds from the camp will help fund the Ramona High School boys and girls volleyball programs.

   
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