Session One, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., 2nd and 3rd grades. Photo provided.Session Two, 10:30 a.m. to noon, 4th and 5th grades. Photo provided.Session Three, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Photo provided.Coach Ron prepared to divide up the young athletes Monday morning. The two groups got the chance to train each day with both Coach Ron, a staple in Southern Illinois sports, and Willie Smith, a world-champion sprinter. Photo by Amber Skelton.Willie Smith instructed kids in a ladder drill on Monday. Photo by Amber Skelton.Kids waited for Coach Ron’s signal to begin the basketball dribbling relay on Tuesday. Photo by Amber Skelton.Sixth, 7th and 8th grade campers prepared for a resistance drill Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Amber Skelton.

96 young athletes register for sports speed development camp

Coach Ron’s 2016 Sports Speed Development camp was held at Jonesboro Grade School on June 20-23.

Ninety-six campers registered for the four-day camp with an average attendance of 86.

The campers ages ranged from incoming 2nd graders to outgoing 8th graders.

The camp was divided into three sessions: 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Each session had enrollments of 25 to 30 campers. Each session was then divided into groups of two. Willie Smith, who is in his 23rd year of working speed camps with Coach Ron, took one group for 45 minutes while Coach Ron took the other group. 

Upon completion of the 45 minutes, the groups would switch. Each coach would work speed and quickness using various acceleration drills, reaction and quickness drills.

The activities improved reactions, quicker movement, effective directional changes and refined mechanics. The little details of athletic motion were learned.

The agenda of activities included the following: Frisbees, z-balls, ladder drills, resister harnesses, hurdles, accelerator ladders, get-ups with z-balls, handballs, hand weights, scarfs for accelerator drills, plus an assortment of other drills.

Those Who Attended

Those who attended the camp included:

Blake Abernathy, Logan Abernathy, Bryce Bowers, Campbell Belcher, Nate Belcher, Reece Belcher, Parker Benefield, Landon Boyd, Landen Brown, Stuart Busby, Olivia Capel, Ethan Carver, Caden Cerney, Pierce Chapman, Brinley Corbit, Nati Corbit.

Landon Hoyle, Mia Dettarpart, Matthew Duncan, Blake Dillow, Brooklyn Eastman, Trevor Fox, Jadyn Gerardi, J.J. Gerardi, Aniyah Graham, Evan Hall, Drake Hartline, Dylan Harvel, Zach Henry, Henry Hoehner.

Camden Hodges, Taj Hodges, Drew Holshouser, Jace Holshouser, Matti Housman, Landon Hoye, Nathan Hubbs, Jake Hubbs, Raegan Jones, Reese Jones, Zoe Jones, Emily Kacinski, Caleb Kaufman, Alexandria Keller.

John Michael Ligon, Nick Lingle, Grant Lingle, Amelia Marshall, Jonathan Mattheis, Aidan McFadden, Jake Manees, Kenzie Miller, Maddox Miller, Mason Miller, Jayden Moore, Shaylee Moore, Levi Moutria, Gunnar Myers, Kylee Myers.

Erin Overstreet, Zach Overstreet, Drew Page, Kacey Pearl, Gage Roach, Savana Rambeau, Aaron Sheffer, Brooke Sheffer, Mikayla Skelton, Sophie Smiley, Brett Smith, Dylan Smith.

Clayton Smith, Jack Smith, Jude Smith, Marlee Smith, Beckett Thorp, Kaylee Stover, Kenzie Stover, Kaitlyn Sullivan, John Turner, Marissa Turner, Maya Simouski, Luke Vaughn, Cole Whitacre.

Tess Wilkins, Brandon Wright, Bryan Wright, Chris Wright, John Robert Wright, Kiersten Wright, Megan Wright, Meranda Wright.

Appreciation Voiced

A thank you to the following coaches for their assistance during the four-day camp:

Patti McGinnis, Joyce Kilmer, Zach Overstreet, Jennifer Stokes, Nick Harris.

Coach Ron voiced a special thank you to the Jonesboro Community Consolidated School District No. 43, Mr. Tom Stark and the Board of Education. Thanks go to Berry Miller and Diane Kratz for assisting with tables and making sure the gym was opened each day.

Mission Statement

Besides learning the fundamental aspects of athletics, the program encourages involvement in community and extracurricular activities to benefit child development in sports.

The program of speed, agility, and quickness builds lifelong relationships with adults through mentoring and other activities with emphasis on one-on-one interactions. Students in camp came from schools in Union, Johnson and Williamson counties.

Students had the opportunity to build relationships and camaraderie with other students outside their own schools.

“Thank you to all parents and grandparents for helping to make the camp a very successful one,” Coach Ron stated.


Coach Ron said thanks to the following for their financial support and assistance with the Speed Camp: Bob Fombelle/Blue Boar Restaurant, Bob Lyerla, Jon & Joyce Lutz, Sam O’Neal, Save-A-Lot, Edward M. Smith, President, Union Labor Life Insurance Company, Dr. Larry Peterson, and Carl Rendleman. Paula Fulenwider provided meals each day for the coaches. Bob Carter was the photographer that provided group and individual pictures for the campers.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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