Mississippi College

Mississippi College 2012 Summer Camp Season Opens May 29

May 22, 2012

Mississippi College’s new summer camp season begins May 29 when the first wave of high school cheerleaders arrive on the Clinton campus.

About 300 cheerleaders are coming from Jackson, Brandon, Clinton and other cities across the Magnolia State to kick off the university’s 2012 camps, says Ken Gilliam, MC’s continuing education director.

Riding with their parents from public and private schools statewide, scores of cheerleaders begin arriving at the Christian university one day after the Memorial Day holiday.

Their participation helps boost MC’s projected camp numbers to about 5,500 students this summer, a slight increase over last year’s total, says Gilliam, who oversees the camps each season.

When calculating the entire list of athletic camps, including basketball and volleyball, there should be about 1,000 students signed up at Mississippi College this summer.

Another 3,000 students, mainly from 14 Southern states, will attend LifeWay’s Centri-Fuge, and M-Fuge camps on the Clinton campus. And there are 1,000 others from churches statewide scheduled for the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s annual Super Summer camp. These five-day faith-based camps mix time for worship services and Bible study along with sports activities and opportunities for fellowship.

Brianna Hawthorne was a student at Clinton Junior High when she was among the players from metro Jackson attending last summer’s volleyball camp led by MC Lady Choctaws Coach Peter Cosmiano.

Now a 14-year-old freshman and volleyball player at Clinton High, Brianna plans to return to a similar camp at Mississippi College in a few weeks.

“She’s looking forward to Coach Coz’s camp. She wants to improve her spiking skills,” says her mother, Tonya Hawthorne, a human resources staff member at Mississippi College.

Volleyball players from Clinton, Pearl High, Northwest Rankin, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and others learned how to set up the offense, spike the ball and play good team defense at the camp at the Baptist Healthplex while Cosmiano barked out instructions.

Other MC coaches will be joined by talented high school and junior high coaches from around the state at upcoming basketball camps.

“The purpose of our camp is to teach basketball fundamentals in a Christian environment, regardless of a camper’s level of ability,” says MC Lady Choctaws hoops coach Paul Duke. “Each camper will have the opportunity to improve her individual skills and gain valuable experience in league and tournament play. All campers will participate in their own age groups.”

Jed Kanengiser, the head coach of the McLaurin High Lady Tigers basketball team, said last year’s camp was a great experience. He’s got the squad from the school near Florence signed up to return to the team camp in June.

“The atmosphere was nice, head Coach Paul Duke and the basketball staff were friendly, and most importantly, there was a high level of competition,” Kanengiser said. “I also like the fact that each game counts toward your seeding in the tournament on the last day of the camp. It raises the level of competitiveness and sets this camp apart from many others.”

One of the McLaurin standouts going to the Mississippi College hoops camp in June will be Ariel Wilson, a rising senior and star point guard who was named to The Clarion-Ledger’s All-Metro First Team. Ariel averaged nearly 25 points per-game last season and will get another look at the A.E. Wood Coliseum when she plays in the Mississippi North/South All-Star game on July 10.

All of the MC girls basketball camps will be at the A.E. Wood Coliseum. June 11-14 will be the dates for day camp for students entering grades 1-5. There’s an overnight camp for girls June 17-20 for grades 6-12.

Don Lofton, coach of the MC men’s basketball team, runs the boys basketball camps again this summer. Among the key dates will be the overnight camps June 10-14 and day camp June 11-14. Dates for team camps include June 21-23 and June 28-29.

For more information about MC sports camps, contact Missa Turman at 601.925.3341. For information on all summer camps at Mississippi College, contact Ken Gilliam at 601.925.3264.

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