Two area athletes give back to Ferris State volleyball camp

STUDENTS BECOME TEACHERS: Morley Stanwood High School graduate Mekayla Carey coaches high school volleyball players from across the state at Ferris State’s volleyball camp. (Pioneer photos/Justin McKee)

STUDENTS BECOME TEACHERS: Morley Stanwood High School graduate Mekayla Carey coaches high school volleyball players from across the state at Ferris State’s volleyball camp. (Pioneer photos/Justin McKee)

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State University freshman volleyball player and 2015 Morley Stanwood High School graduate, Mekayla Carey, attended FSU’s volleyball camps each of her four years as a Mohawk.

Carey has been able to give back to those same camps as the Bulldogs host their annual 15-day volleyball camp. Carey, in a reversed role, is participating as a camp coach along with another former Mohawk and FSU freshman, Kayla Rosman, in addition to other FSU volleyball players.

“It’s going amazing,” Carey said. “It’s an awesome feeling seeing younger girls look up to me. They really listen to what you say. It makes me feel good being here and helping them accomplish their goals.”

Rosman said reversing her role to coaching at the camp has given her a fresh take on the game.

“I think I love coaching almost more than when I was a camper here,” Rosman said. “Having the kids look up to you and really see you as a role model is great. I love it.”

The camp consists of 12 mini camps, categorized by team level (varsity or junior varsity), position and drill type.

“It’s been great and there are just a ton of kids here,” FSU coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm said. “They are all really excited and ready to learn volleyball, which is pretty exciting.”

Brandel-Wilhelm said these camps are a great way for her players to connect with the community and help the next generation of players succeed.

“It’s great for our athletes because they learn the game better when they coach it,” she said. “But it’s also great for the sport of volleyball as they become ambassadors for athletics and what it means to be a successful young woman. They’re great role models and it’s awesome they get to come and work one-on-one with these younger girls.”

Carey said the camp also has helped her get to know her new teammates in a productive environment.

“I’m really adapting to my new team,” she said. “I’m getting to know a lot of the girls. We’ve been at this camp for about six days now, so I have already become really close to all the girls. They are just another family away from home now.

“I’ve learned a lot and I still have a lot more to learn.”

Carey and Rosman are two of four former area volleyball players who now play at FSU, in addition to Alexis Huntey (Morley Stanwood) and Hannah Guy (Chippewa Hills).

Rosman’s transition to the college level has been fluid by having Carey by her side, she said.

“It is a lot easier,” Rosman said. “They are all so welcoming and I know I made the right choice coming to FSU.

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