Athletic facilities across the Ferris State University campus will bustle with activity, this summer, as various coaches and athletes offer learning opportunities, through nearly 60 youth athletic camp sessions in eight different sports.
Ferris’ football, volleyball, men’s basketball, tennis and hockey programs won championships in the last year, and as a result, the university’s Auxiliary Enterprises office hopes to surpass last summer’s camp participation records. More than 4,500 athletes visited campus, in 2015, and athletic camps coordinator Gary Wendlowsky said that total included players and coaches from 260 high school teams.
“Winning championships amounts to the best marketing we could ever do,” Wendlowsky said. “We’ve had waiting lists for hockey camps ever since the Bulldogs made the NCAA Frozen Four, in 2012. We’re seeing similar success with camps for the other championship-level sports.”
The university’s football program will tour the state, offering satellite camps in five Lower Michigan communities between June 14 and June 23. Wendlowsky said they estimate around 600 elite athletes will take part in these sessions.
“These two-hour camps are meant to provide exposure for athletes who have intentions of playing beyond their high school years,” Wendlowsky said. “With plans in place to upgrade the soccer field on the Ferris campus, the decision was made to provide these camps in the Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Traverse City areas.”
Other athletic camps, based in Big Rapids, promote excellence in golf, hockey, softball, soccer and tennis. Wendlowsky said some camps offer individual athletes instruction in the skills of their sport, while others are arranged to support organized teams whose players are junior high to high school ages.
“What’s really successful, for our operation, is the volleyball team camps,” Wendlowsky said. “Men’s and women’s basketball shootouts are also well received as they are more of a one-day tournament presentation. It gives coaches, and their programs, a chance to assess their players’ abilities.”
The Auxiliary Enterprises office said athletic camps also serve to introduce these young athletes, and their coaches to the university campus, and what Ferris can offer them in terms of academic, and career opportunities.
“Summer is a fun time of year on campus, and it presents a great opportunity to see and explore the grounds, without a lot of student pressure,” Wendlowsky said. “We find that schools are excited to get their students on campus.”
Wendlosky said that while hockey camp sessions have waiting lists, the Auxiliary Enterprises office can be contacted to learn about participating in other athletic camp sessions prior to their starting dates.
PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University will offer approximately 60 summer athletic camp sessions in 2016. Associate head hockey coach Drew Famulak offers tips to young players during a camp session in the Ewigleben Ice Arena.