Owls host successful tennis camp

Brandon Davis said he was pleased with the turnout at the Seymour Owls tennis camp this week.

“We had between 85 and 90,” Davis said of the numbers this year. “This is our second year. We had a good turnout.”

The camp was for boys and girls. Davis is head boys tennis coach at Seymour High School, and Sharon Wood is head coach of the Seymour girls tennis team, and they were co-directors of the camp.

The campers were divided into two age groups, first through fifth grades and sixth through eighth grades.

“We want the younger kids to just get the feel for tennis and get excited about tennis,” Davis said. “We’re just teaching them the techniques of it all. In the middle school group, we just want them to stick with it. We want them to keep playing in high school. We’ve got them serving and hitting a little bit harder and work with them on different placements with their hits and things like that.”

Members of the Seymour boys and girls tennis teams also worked with the campers.

One of those was Joe Schmidt, who will be a junior on the SHS boys team this fall.

“I like teaching them because they’re going to be the future of our team,” he said. “We do a lot of repetition. I tell them to get sideways and stuff, how to touch the ball and that kind of stuff.”

Schmidt said the instructors work a lot with the campers on their proper stances.

He said the high school players aren’t doing a whole lot of match play with the campers.

“We work on form, making contact with the ball, at least trying to get it over the net, starting small, going through the progressions,” he said.

Schmidt is beginning his third year on the varsity team and is hopeful of playing No. 1 or No. 2 singles in the upcoming season.

“I like a lot of things about tennis,” he said. “I like singles a lot because I like control of the court. I don’t have to worry about messing up my teammate if I’m in doubles. It’s really important to win the first set. It gives you confidence for the rest of the meet.”

Emersyn Dailey said this is the first time she has attended the tennis camp. She said she attended a volleyball camp at Trinity Lutheran High School earlier this summer.

“I enjoy playing tennis because it’s really fun,” she said. “Basically, I like how you get to hit the ball back and forth. I like to hit forehand and overhand.”

Dane Thompson said this was his second year attending the tennis camp. He played tennis at Seymour Middle School last year and is planning on playing again his fall.

“I had a good time last year,” he said. “I learned a lot last year, so I just wanted to learn some more about tennis. I like serving and stuff. I usually play singles.”

He said he has confidence in his forehand shots, and his serving is usually pretty good.

“I can usually get my first serve in. I’ve been working on pretty much everything,” he said.

Davis said, “The camp is wonderful. We’re outside, we get support from the community, the kids are hanging out with good role models, so at the end of the day, it is great. It checks off all of our boxes.”