Hard work pays off.
Four words that Lady Grey Wolves volleyball coach Merdith Shaw-Moore has lived by since she arrived at Shoemaker.
Her mantra stands true as the seventh annual Shoemaker Youth Volleyball Camp had 64 attendees to open up the summer.
“The very first time I did this camp I had maybe 12 kids,” Moore said. “Then the following year it got better.
“It went from 12 to 20, and then 20 to 25 and then 25 to 32, each year we just grew and grew.”
Moore attributes the gains to the growth in popularity in the game.
“I’m really pleased and blessed to a certain extent to have developed and grown the Shoemaker volleyball program to where it is,” Moore said. “To a point where now they buy into what I’m trying to do for this program and for this school.”
The longtime head coach recalled the early days of coaching at Shoemaker when not many people attended games and the program was overshadowed by football.
“It was overlooked,” Moore admitted. “And every year that I’ve been here I can see the growth and the development.
“Now people see that we are growing and we are developing, and that tends to catch people’s eye.”
Moore also attributed the continued growth and success of her program to her staff.
“I don’t do this by myself,” she said. “I have a really good support group, I have really good parents who trust me and trust the things that I do.
“I also have really good assistants that are in my ear, as well as former players that come back and contribute.”
The ultimate goal of the Lady Grey Wolves summer clinic is to introduce the game to girls as early as possible.
“This camp is for fourth through eighth grade,” Moore said. “But if I have a first grader come in here and she wants to be involved, I’m going to do something with that kid to accommodate their skill level.”
The Lady Wolves camp is also open to anyone interested in playing.
“When I do camps, it’s not just for Shoemaker itself,” Moore said. “It’s about the community.”
Among the many campers this summer were a few who travelled all the way from East Texas.
Tania Lewis, 12, is from Texarkana, but heard from her cousin who lives in Killeen about the Lady Wolves volleyball camp this summer.
“I just love playing volleyball,” Lewis said. “And I hope to keep playing in high school.
“There aren’t a lot of camps around where I live, so my mom agreed to let me come stay with my cousin so I could come to this camp.”
For the final day of camp, a tournament was held in which the girls were divided by age group, with fourth and fifth graders mixed in, to get some playing experience.
At the conclusion of the camp, Moore handed out certificates with her motto across the bottom.
“I put at the bottom ‘Hard work pays off’ because you have to keep working,” Moore said. “You may not see the results in the moment, but you’ll see those results at the end.”
The concept striving toward the goal was instilled in Moore from Gen. Robert M. Shoemaker himself.
“When I first got here, his slogan was ‘Keep your eye on the prize,’” Moore recalled. “”You’ll hear that a lot over here at Shoemaker.
“Keep doing what you’re doing, keep picking up balls, keep going into gyms, keep playing volleyball, because whatever you got out of this camp may not be what you get out of volleyball period. You’ve got to keep working.”