More than 1,210 future and current Canyon High Cougars, Canyon Lake Hawks and Smithson Valley Rangers are lacing up their sneakers almost every morning this summer in order to run sprints, lift weights and push their limits through the Texas heat.
All three traditional high schools in the Comal Independent School District are offering strength and conditioning camps as well as sport-specific camps Monday through Thursday for incoming seventh through 12th grade students residing in Comal ISD attendance zones. Following guidelines set by the University Interscholastic League, UIL, these summer athletic opportunities are taught by district staff and welcomed by parents with teenagers.
“These camps not only help maintain our high school athletes’ strength and endurance, they also give them an opportunity to work together as a team and continue to develop camaraderie and teamwork,” said Charles Drum, CLHS athletic coordinator. “For our middle school athletes, it’s a great opportunity to get to know our coaches, as we begin to develop a relationship with them.”
For parents, the training and conditioning camp, often referred to as “TAC” camp, gives teenagers something to do every morning; a chance to be with their friends; and the assurance that they are being physically active. Carpools are scheduled, and a summer routine is established with family vacations thrown in for good measure.
“I am glad that my boys are taking the conditioning camp since it keeps them active, gives them time to be with friends and provides them a reason to get out of bed in the morning, keeping somewhat of a routine for school,” said Maria Miles, the mother of two teenage boys who have participated in the Smithson Valley camp for the past two to three years. “It is also very affordable.”
Many parents seem to agree since each of the school’s athletic camps has seen an increase in participation this summer with about 400 students registered with CHS, 120 registered with CLHS and 690 registered with SVHS. The schools’ athletic directors give credit to their coaching staff for providing the daily professional instruction and designing workouts which benefit each student.
Coaches like Javier Almanza and Cody Means from CLHS, Assistant Athletic Coordinator Heather Sanders from CHS and coaches Matt Sutherland, Courtney Patton, Jeff Shinn, Craig Wersterfer, Chad Haug and Amanda Wolf-Schramm from SVHS help make these camps a success.
“Our goal is to give athletes every opportunity to be the best they can be in their respective sport,” said Joe Lepsis, CHS athletic coordinator. “Kids that go through the strength and conditioning program have the benefit of starting the new season in peak physical condition along with building team chemistry.”
At 589 square miles, Comal ISD is one of the largest school districts geographically in the state of Texas. Each campus acts as a gathering place for the community, and sporting events often unite neighbors who may live miles apart. Truly, CLHS is considered the hub of the Canyon Lake community, and the communities surrounding SVHS and CHS feel the same way. These summer camps are just one more way to keep students active, motivated and at the center of their communities.
“These camps have become part of our culture at Smithson Valley,” said Larry Hill, SVHS athletic coordinator. “Our players, parents and coaches expect these camps to take place each and ever summer. They will be organized; they will be run properly; they will be very beneficial; and they will build team camaraderie. These camps are as important to our success as anything else that goes on during the school year.”
There still may be time to get involved in these summer camps with options for younger students as well for various sports. Visit the Athletics tab for each of the high schools for details.
Go Cougars! Go Hawks! Go Rangers!
Photos from top right.
-Athletes from Canyon High push a John Deere Gator filled with weights across the football field during one day of strength and conditioning camp.
-Smithson Valley High School Coach Josh Samora spots incoming seventh grader Tanner Leib in the weight room during strength and conditioning camp.
-Incoming eighth and ninth grade athletes at Smithson Valley prepare for "competition" day Thursday during strength and conditioning camp.
-Smithson Valley High School Coach Sierra Holly supervises incoming seventh and eighth grade athletes in the weight room at SVHS during strength and conditioning camp.