Posted on: July 19, 2018
There will something a little extra for volleyball fans in Prince George to take in when the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack come to the city in late August. In addition to their very popular summer camp, the WolfPack men’s team will be holding their preseason training camp in Prince George.
It is the first time that head coach Pat Hennelly will have his entire squad in Prince George to not only instruct at their camp but train as well. “This will be similar to what the BC Lions do in Kamloops. We will get the guys together and begin to prepare for the season. A number of our players always want to instruct at the Prince George camp so I thought it would be an ideal situation to have everyone there to train.”
He outlines what will be taking place. “ We are going to go up there a day early (Saturday, Aug 26) and train, do team meetings and get some paperwork out of the way instead of scrambling to do that during the first week of school. We will do some goal setting. We will train while the youth camp is going on Monday to Thursday (Aug 27-30) with the Prince George senior boys. “
Hennelly says the WolfPack will train and have an intra-squad match on Friday (Aug 31) before doing a team building exercise by white water rafting before returning to Kamloops to begin the school year.
The WolfPack coach says the timing was right to do this. “A lot of U SPORTS teams do retreats but I don’t believe any has done a formal training camp outside of their university. With our season starting earlier and earlier (mid October), there are fewer and fewer weekends to do things aside from exhibitions. This is a way to take care of paper work and meetings as far as a team retreat aspect goes. Getting away on the road should help with the guys bonding process. First time trying this. I hope it gives us a bit of an advantage to start the year.”
The coach adds Prince George is an ideal venue. “They always give us great access to nice facilities. We also have current and former players who will billet out players which will help with the costs. We will stay in Prince George as long as they want us.”
The summer camp, now into its ninth year, for grade 5 to 7 boys and girls, junior boys and girls and senior boys and girls. There are still spots available.
The WolfPack’s summer volleyball camp is housed at the College of New Caledonia and Duchess Park Secondary gyms in conjunction with Prince George Youth Volleyball. Those facilities will also be the sites of the men’s training camp.
Hennelly says his sessions will be open to the public and he says having fans there will be good for his players to adjust to performing before large crowds as they gear up for the U SPORTS season. “ I think it will be a spirited intra-squad match on the Friday. Typically we have about 150 kids who come to camp. It will be a good chance for the players and fans of Prince George to see some high level volleyball. For those that attend the youth camp, they will have made a connection with our players earlier in the week through their sessions.
The WolfPack will be led this year by fifth year outside hitter Tim Dobbert. The native of Aichelberg, Germany. He was a second team Canada West all-star last season. As well, three members of the TRU program will have played for Canada internationally this summer (libero Landon Currie of Vernon, BC with the national junior team. Setter Sam Elgert of Athabasca, Alberta and middle Evan Yakymishen of St. Albert, Alberta were with the national youth team). TRU’s Prince George connection continues as outside hitter Ryan Hampe of Duchess Park will be entering his first season with the team.
Hampe states,” Having this camp in PG is awesome for the city. As a community, our volleyball talent is growing immensely and I think it’s largely due to Pat having this camp every year up north. As a young kid attending the camps, I remember looking up to the players and wanting to be in their position in the future. I looked at how great of people they all were and how the treated us and were great role models in the community and it really inspired me to be like them one day.”
He adds, “Having our MVB training camp in Prince George is awesome. Having my first training camp of my university career in my hometown will be a great experience that I’ll cherish. For the volleyball community here in town it will be great, we will have an intra-squad game that anyone can come watch, as well as I’m sure we will have some open practices that kids can come watch. It’s an honor to be part of the first Canada West training camp outside of their university, as well as it’s is a very cool idea that Pat came up with and I think other university’s will see us doing it and replicate it in their own way to get the great sport of volleyball spread out at high levels throughout our country.”
If you want to sign your child up for the WolfPack Prince George camp contact Dan Drezet at email@example.com or Coach Hennelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (250) 572-6619.
WolfPack women’s player and Prince George native Hali Drezet has attended this camp both as a partipant and instructor, “The WolfPack camp is always the highlight of my summer and has been since the very first year in 2009. Not only is the camp fun and enjoyable you also learn a lot. The coaches at the camp have always been very energetic and committed to this camp which makes it even better. Pat’s WolfPack camp is the by far the best one I’ve been a part of in my 10 years of playing volleyball.”