Winter sports camps

The perfect bounce into the holidays

By Pam Black

As soon as Fall semester ended, the 3rd annual Holiday Basketball Camp was held for boys and girls grades K-12 at the Arizona Western College Gym. Also attending the camp were college basketball athletes to inspire the kids, help them develop new skills and to answer any questions they have about the sport.

AWC Head Basketball Coach Charles Harral said that basketball provides many benefits for young people, who learn skills like teamwork, concentration and self-discipline, and who also improve their coordination, build muscle and endurance.

Not only is basketball fun for them, but it provides an opportunity to discover whether they are on the way to becoming stars or just developing a new hobby, one that can be played on a team or with just a few friends shooting hoops.

Harral said he hopes that one day these kids will either join the college team or attend college here.

He also noted that AWC Matador Sports Day -- including basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, baseball and softball -- will be held Feb. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. To register for this event, call 928-344-7529 or email

Young volleyballers go to camp

By Zachary Zdon

Standing on the court where they might one day bump, set and spike for the Lady Matadors volleyball squad, girls from the Yuma area lined up for drills and instruction from a great volleyball mind.

The moment grades were in for Fall semester and students were gone from campus, Head Volleyball Coach Jason Smith, recently held his annual Girls Volleyball Camp in "The House" at Arizona Western College. Smith, the highly successful coach and volleyball lifer, imparted wisdom and the fundamentals of a game that has been very good to the Kansas City native.

Girls ran drills with Smith and played some one-on-one games on a modified court with a shortened net. They laughed and giggled their way through various activities and scrimmages as Smith joked around, employing his dry Midwestern sense of humor.

"I really enjoy getting out here and hanging out with these kids," said Smith. "They're all great and we have a lot of fun out here."

These kids couldn't ask for a better instructor than Smith. He's coached at several colleges around the country with success at every level. Also, his commitment to academics has been demonstrated in many ways over the years, most notably his seven consecutive NJCAA all-academic teams.

Smith understands what it takes to mold these young ladies into good volleyball players but more importantly into good people. These sessions help these kids become the kind of solid individuals that the coach has been recruiting for years.

There was some serious volleyball instruction going on, but mostly just girls having fun.

"What else was I going to do today anyway?" Smith said with a wry smile as he gathered the girls for another drill.

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