These girls were getting valuable volleyball instruction time at the annual Rockmart Volleyball Camp hosted by the RHS volleyball team.
Spanning four days, the event has not just become a way for younger girls to tryout the sport but also a training course for high school players wanting to get to the next level.
“It seems to be getting bigger but this year you can really tell that it is also getting better,” Rockmart head volleyball coach Robert Torline said. “And I’m all for the girls that come here getting better.”
Around 50 girls took part in this year’s camp, some of them in middle school or younger who were looking for a way to get into the sport.
These girls were separated and given attention by new Rockmart Middle School volleyball coach Joel Hudson.
A large group of high school players from six nearby schools were put under the instruction of former Darlington head coach Jim Linos and area volleyball instructor and official Geoff Sharpe.
“It has gotten challenging for me to come up with different things each year so that’s why I brought others in to help,” Torline said.
Brandon Howard, who has played on a club volleyball team in the junior olympics, also helped out during the camp.
“With the younger ones it is all about the fundamentals – the how to, why to and when to,” Torline said. “By the time they’re in middle school, they are thinking more about making sure they do the right thing and at the high school level it is about reaction.”
Torline said he was excited to see the number of girls from other high school teams that come to the camp each year.
“It’s not about just Rockmart right now,” Torline said. “It’s about getting the players in our area better so that the girls and the teams around here can get more noticeable.”
Getting area teams that could be future opponents for Rockmart better means the Lady Jackets would have to step up their game as well.
“You only get better by playing better competition,” Torline said.
Rockmart has been able to improve over the last few seasons and have qualified for the state tournament the last two years.
Torline hopes the work they do at the camp can be the catalyst for a region-wide surge in volleyball success.
“We’re reaching for the top,” Torline said. “They may not learn everything here but we can at least say they learn something that brings them up a notch.”