By Evan Grice
It’s not often that sports camps in Piedmont are visited by college coaches, let alone run by them.
However, for the Piedmont Lady Wildcats, they got a special treat last week at the Intermediate Gymnasium.
Oklahoma volleyball head coach and native of Botoga, Columbia Santiago Restrepo graciously came down and provided two solid days of fun, practice and volleyball knowledge as the Lady Wildcats got to enjoy some quality time with the head coach of the Sooners.
The mini-camp was also a chance for the Piedmont coaching staff to sit back and learn while assisting coach Restrepo with running things.
“We picked up a lot from Santiago from watching him for two days,” Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said. “It allowed me to just not only observe him (Santiago) but our kids as well. I got to see what kind of condition our girls are in for this upcoming season. He started every activity with a lot of high energy and made it fun for everyone. He was also very expectant, but very fun as well.”
Restrepo is entering his 11th season with the Sooner volleyball program, sporting an overall record of 189-125 for a .602 winning percentage. He’s also helped lead OU to five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and four consecutive 20 plus win seasons.
Before coming to Norman, he coached at Southern Mississippi University (2001-2003) and worked at Saint Louis University as an assistant coach (1998-2000).
Piedmont Lady Wildcat senior Anna Young echoed Coach Brucker’s thoughts about the fun aspect, adding that it allowed her to learn more as far as technique was concerned.
“I thought the camp overall was a blast,” she said. “Santiago was awesome and he made it so much fun for us. I was able to learn a lot about technique, especially when it came to hitting.”
“It was so great that he sacrificed his personal time for us like he did. He was so insightful and down to business, but at the same time still so sarcastic and a jokester.”
Fellow Lady Wildcat senior Kayden Carver said everyone was able to benefit from getting one-on-one coaching from someone at the collegiate level.
“It’s always great when you get to work with someone who is at the college level,” she said. “Santiago was a lot of fun to work with, and he was really knowledgeable. I thought the camp was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from it that’s only going to make us better this season.”