This story originally appeared in the spring 2014 Harker Quarterly.
Students who want to learn a new sport, improve as athletes or simply work on their overall fitness will have plenty to choose from at Harker’s summer sports camps. Harker’s staff of experienced, well-trained and caring coaches will ensure that students gain the skills they need in a positive, fun and nurturing environment. For more information and to register for Harker’s summer sports camps, click here.
After a successful first year, Harker’s summer wrestling camp will have students in grades 4-12 taking to the mat once again to brush up on both beginning and advanced techniques. Catering to a wide range of skill levels, the camp will have students working on takedowns, reversals, and other important skills. Students also will train on a TRX system, work on managing weight, setting goals, and being mentally prepared. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn from college coaches and wrestlers who will visit the camp.
Among this year’s special guests is Anthony Robles, who won the 2010-11 NCAA championship in the 125-pound weight class despite being born with just one leg.
“One of the new things about camp this year is we have more coaches to help,” said camp director Karriem Stinson. “I went out and got some of the best coaches in [the Central Coast Section]. Two of them have been CCS honor coaches of the year and one has been named Mercury News coach of the year.”
Stinson is Harker’s middle school assistant athletic director and the middle and upper school wrestling coach. During his time at Harker, he has coached three members of the California national wrestling team and many other wrestlers who have gone on to placements in CCS.
Stinson will be joined by Shawn Henebry, a three-time CCS winner and former captain of the wrestling team at California State University, Fullerton, where he later was assistant coach. Henebry finished first place in the 85kg category at the 2012 Veterans U.S. National Championships and his coaching successes include a CCS champion and several state qualifiers.
Harker’s summer swim school has something for everyone looking to participate in one of the quintessential summertime activities. Whether looking to improve their overall skill, prepare for an upcoming competition or just enjoy a good time in the California sun, both children and adults will find programs tailored to their needs and preferences.
Experienced swim instructors will offer half-hour lessons that will help swimmers build their skills sequentially and heighten confidence in their abilities. Ten different skill levels have been designed to accommodate the widest possible range of swimmers, from those who are uncomfortable being in water to experienced freestyle competitors. Private and group lessons are available for students ages 5-18.
For swimmers in grades 3-8, the junior swim team portion of the camp is a great way to gain competitive swimming skills in a fun and supportive atmosphere, where students will focus on improving their technique and endurance. Students who wish to participate in the junior swim team must be able to swim unassisted freestyle for a length of 25 meters and show a basic understanding of the four competitive strokes.
The swim school will offer weekly sessions from June 16 to Aug. 7 at the beautiful Singh Aquatic Center at Harker’s upper school campus. The aquatic center’s 25-yard pool, which features 13 swimming lanes, provides an ideal area for swimmers to learn, practice and have fun!
For students interested in learning a new sport while also enjoying outdoor summer fun, Harker’s water polo camp is an ideal choice. Geared toward students who are new to the sport, the camp will offer a primer in the sport’s history, rules, basic techniques, water and dry land conditioning and more.
Those who are interested in signing up for this camp must be able to swim 25 yards. Skills taught during the camp include shooting, passing, eggbeater kicking and other essentials of the sport. Campers also will play scrimmages to employ the skills they’ve learned.
Due to its popularity in past Harker summer programs, there will now be two sessions of the water polo camp, one from June 16-20 and another from July 14-18.
Coaches Allie Lamb and Ted Ujifusa will return to direct the camp. Having played for such illustrious coaches as University of California, Berkeley’s Rich Corso, Santa Clara University’s Keith Wilbur and former Olympic coach Ricardo Azevedo, Lamb draws on a wealth of knowledge gained during her 15-year water polo career. She was captain of the SCU water polo team in 2009 and has coached Harker’s water polo team for the past two seasons.
Ted Ujifusa, currently the head coach of Harker’s boys water polo team, brings nearly 50 years of water polo experience to the camp. During his senior year at UC Berkeley, his team won the NCAA championship. Since he began coaching in 1974, he has coached two Central Coast Section public high schools to championships, the only coach in CCS history to do so. Other accolades include being named Coast Conference coach of the year during his time with De Anza College and winning the National Master’s Championship.
Young basketball enthusiasts will have the opportunity to solidify their fundamental skills at Harker’s summer basketball camp. Designed to prepare students for team competition, the camp will have students focus on important skills such as ball handling, shooting, rebounding and fundamentals on both offense and defense.
Camp sessions include shooting and stretching daily. Then, students will rotate between stations that focus on different fundamental aspects of the game. The camp also will feature daily five-on-five games and fun activities to liven the atmosphere.
Directing this year’s camp is Harker varsity basketball coach Mark Collins, who spent 10 years in Denmark as a professional player, being named an All-Star player five times. He also directed the Golden State Warriors training camp for six years.
Harker’s elite soccer camp is back and registration is live! This coed camp for students in grades 4-12 is ideal for players of all abilities, whether new to the game, looking to try out for a team or preparing for upcoming competition. Instruction at the camp will teach and bolster fundamental skills and also help to build students’ skills through psychomotor training, tactical development and a variety of team games.
Students who enroll in the soccer camp will be placed in groups appropriate to their skill levels to ensure that their abilities are properly matched and challenged by other players. They will be grouped according to age, current skill level and gender (in that order). Each day, a different age-appropriate skill will be emphasized and incorporated into team play. Enrollees can also look forward to special visits by professional players and other notable guests each week, as well as a fun all-camp gathering with students and staff.
Returning to direct this year’s soccer camp is Harker varsity soccer coach Shaun Tsakiris, who played in four straight NCAA tournaments, winning a national championship in 1997 and receiving an MVP award from University of California, Los Angeles, in 2000. Tsakiris spent four years as a professional player in the United Soccer Leagues, playing for the Rochester Rhinos from 2002-06. Joining Tsakiris will be a team of experienced coaches who will work directly with attendees of the camp.
Harker’s summer coed volleyball camp will provide a fun learning environment for volleyball players in grades 4-9. Designed for players of all levels, the camp will help students build their skills through drills, exercises and team games.
Skills emphasized include passing, setting and hitting, blocking and serving, as well as offensive and defensive strategy. Students will be evaluated both individually and as teams. The camp will feature special visits by college coaches and players.
The morning routine will start with warm-up exercises followed by ball control drills. Students will then work on individual player skills, followed by team skills such as working in formations and transitioning. The day will conclude with students forming teams and playing games to put the skills they have learned to use.
The camp will be directed by Harker volleyball coaches Dan Molin and Theresa “Smitty” Smith. Molin, Harker’s upper school athletic director, has more than 20 years of experience coaching volleyball at a variety of levels in California and Hawaii. During his years as a player, he was named one of the “Fab 50” by Volleyball Magazine and is recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as a 200-win coach. Smith, a 22-year Harker veteran, was a member of the U.S. Amateur Olympic volleyball team in 1990 and in 1992 was honored for her years at St. Francis High School by being inducted into the school’s hall of fame. In 2007, she was named CCS volleyball coach of the year by the San Jose Mercury News.
The Harker TRX training camp will return for its second year, offering students a comprehensive workout with the TRX suspension training system. Developed by former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick, the TRX system allows users to fine-tune the level of challenge by adjusting their position and resistance settings.
“It is a good camp for those who want a change from the traditional weight room,” said camp director Stinson, who is a certified TRX instructor and will coach the program. “We have fun and work muscles that you never knew existed.”
Offered to students in grades 6-12, the camp will help build a solid core, develop muscular endurance and boost their athletic abilities. “We will focus on learning good position with our bodies and work our cores,” Stinson said.
Harker’s youth football camp is an ideal opportunity for gridiron enthusiasts in grades 6-8 to improve overall ability and prepare for competition in the coming school year. The camp is geared toward intermediate to advanced players, so campers are expected to have at least one year of experience in full-contact football.
Each day of the weeklong camp begins with a dynamic warm-up and stretch session, followed by rotation through stations emphasizing speed and agility drills specialized for football. Campers will then move on to drills for specific positions.
Linemen will run through live inside drills and players at skill positions will run seven-on-seven drills. Campers will then split into teams for an 11-on-11 game.
Students will have the option of registering for a full day or a half day, and can enjoy lunch for an extra fee. A camp practice jersey will be given to all students who register for the camp. Players are encouraged to bring their own helmets and shoulder pads and must provide some other equipment.
The football camp is led by Harker head football coach Ron Forbes, a 15-year collegiate Division 1 veteran. His career includes successful stints at the University of Florida and Stanford University, coaching more than 60 future NFL draftees. Also on hand will be certified sports medical staff, who will provide water and Gatorade to keep campers healthy and hydrated.