Upper Perkiomen High School tennis team hosts second annual summer camp.
The first day of tennis camp children were taught how to follow through and hit the ball. Above, Kyra Lesko hits the ball while Mary Kate Sitko and Lauren Powers wait their turn at the drill.
You just never know where the next Andy Roddick or Serena Williams is going to be discovered. And at the Upper Perkiomen High School in Pennsburg, children ages 6-12 are learning all about the game of tennis and how to improve their skills.
This week the Upper Perkiomen tennis program, headed by high school teacher and both girls and boys head varsity tennis coach, John Williamson, is hosting its second annual youth tennis camp, held 9 a.m. until noon Monday through tomorrow.
With 44 kids in attendance, the camp has proven to be even more of a success than it had been last year. The week-long camp is teaching children the fundamentals of tennis at an early age.
Pivotal concepts such as serving, forehands, backhands and volleys were practiced repeatedly by campers, and time and effort were exerted to perfect the children’s form, improving their overall technique. Through exercises and instruction, the participants develop endurance, stamina and determination.
Upper Perk girls varsity player Heather Danishanko leads a group of girls in an exercise on swinging at the ball.
This coaching is essential to maintain the strength of the district’s high school program now that the middle school program has been eliminated. While the middle school has been without a tennis team for five years, the high school has still managed to remain a league contender in the PAC-10.
Williamson’s efforts have been one of the greatest contributing factors to both the girls and boys team’s strengths.
“Coach Williamson has really affected the Upper Perk tennis program by bringing all of the players together, and showing students how fun the game can be,” stated Upper Perkiomen senior, and fourth-year boys tennis team member, Parker Shilling.
Throughout the duration of the week basics were taught to attendees by an array of past and present tennis players for the Upper Perkiomen Tribe. These volunteers included Justin Nolen, Seth Kreider, Tori Zander, Korey Landis, Jamie Maximuck, Brian Scholl, Mandie Tyrpak, Heather Danishanko and Parker Shilling.
“I would not be able to host the camp on my own. My varsity players have demonstrated their tennis knowledge and their ability to pass on that knowledge to younger players,” admitted Williamson.
He explained how it is always great to see his players succeed in their individual matches, but being able to watch them teach younger children the fundamentals of the game proves what they have truly learned over the past years.
Aside from lessons on how to improve one’s quality of play, campers also partook in strength and conditioning, games and team-building activities. At the end of each day, all campers and volunteers huddled together to participate in a cheer.
Upper Perk varsity tennis player Parker Shilling gives a demonstration on how to hold the raquet for backhand to Mason Powers and Keegan Fonder.
“My favorite part of the camp was when we hit the balls to each other and sometimes they went over the fence,” laughed 6-year-old Kyra Lesko.
In the near future, Williamson intends on trying to develop some sort of organized tennis for students who are not yet in high school. If this program is to arise, and the summer camp continues its success, the Upper Perkiomen tennis program is sure to be in great shape for years to come.
With the summer camp’s registration fee of $75, all proceeds went directly to the Upper Perkiomen tennis program. The girls high school team will begin their first preseason practice on Monday, July 30. Their first regular season practice will be held Monday, August 13.