Someday, they will suit up in the blue and gold of the Massapequa Chiefs, but this summer, hundreds of youngsters are learning the fundamentals of the sports they hope to eventually play at a higher level.
After a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massapequa School District’s popular summer sports skills camps have returned.
The camps are running through July 30 at Massapequa High School and Berner Middle School. Most camps are one week but some are multiple weeks. Leading the program are varsity and junior varsity coaches, as well as current and former student athletes. The high school and college assistants work with elementary and middle school-age students to teach them the basics of the sport.
Recent graduate John Reece is student assistant at the five-week baseball camp at the high school. He went to the camp as a child and went on to become a player at the varsity level. Now, he is passing down his knowledge to the future generation, leading games that help them practice their baserunning, fielding and throwing skills.
“I have a great time; it brings me back to the old days,” he said. “The children make it fun for me and I hope I make it fun for them. If I can teach them a few things and they have a smile on their face, I know it’s been a good day.”
Incoming senior Jillian Johnson has been working at the track and field camp. The All-County athlete helps children with their agility, footwork and form in small groups at the high school track.
“I loved the camp when I was a little kid and I want to make it as fun for them as it was for me,” she said. “I hope they have a good time and will think about running track in the future.”
Other sports this summer include basketball, cheerleading, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.
—Submitted by the Massapequa School District