Bayfield High School is known for hosting some of the biggest summer volleyball camps in the Four Corners.
Like so many other events in 2020, those camps were forced to cancel Thursday because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hung in there as long as possible, but COVID won this battle,” said Bayfield High School head coach Terene Foutz. “The volleyball will begin again. We are already planning a killer lineup for next summer.”
Four days worth of camps at the end of July featuring Colorado State University head coach Tom Hilbert and Northern Arizona University head coach Ken Murphy both had to be called off. The middle school jump start camp for July 7-8 also was canceled. All those who registered will receive a refund in the next seven to 10 days.
The camps with college coaches are capped at 68 players. The camp with Hilbert and the camp with Murphy both were sold out and had lengthy wait lists. Foutz said players ages 13 to 18 come from as far as Grand Junction and Albuquerque to attend those camps.
“I’m heartbroken,” Foutz said. “We have worked really hard to build a tradition in our gym of being the place to go for local summer camps. It has been our honor to bring in Division I college coaches to our small rural communities for so long. The kids really look forward to this opportunity to have contact with coaches at that level. It’s special and inspiring, and I am heartbroken for those kids who look forward to it so much. It’s been a rough day.”
Foutz, who also leads the Four Corners Volleyball Club, has not been able to work with a player with a volleyball since the first week of March before the new coronavirus swept the state and country. She hopes to work with players beginning Monday in small groups of no more than nine players in the gym with any one coach. She has had outside conditioning workouts with groups of 25 total people since Gov. Jared Polis allowed those kinds of activities to take place in June.
Some Bayfield players have gotten together on their own to play grass doubles. Foutz has remained hopeful that incoming freshmen have paired together with upperclassmen to get immersed in the Bayfield system. Foutz also had held meetings with parents and players over Google software to stay connected.
“When we do get together, we will be using volleyballs, but they will be heavily disinfected,” Foutz said. “I created a system with a green cart and a red cart. The green cart has disinfected ball and the red cart has balls that two or more people touched that need to be disinfected. It is extremely limiting, and we will be extremely careful to follow all COVID protocols and take temperatures at the door.”