CHICO, Calif. -- Chico High School's field hockey team held a summer conditioning workout for many of their returning players as they get ready for an important summer camp coming soon.
But it's a week where the turnout may be affected because of the coronavirus.
The field hockey program is set to host a camp that gives field hockey exposure to young athletes.
"We have our camp coming up which is what we really gear towards our new players and that's every year. That's where we get our gauge of who's going to be coming out as freshmen for the JV team," said Panthers Varsity Assistant Coach Deserae Dahlgren.
She added, "...last year we had our biggest turnout for freshmen. We had a huge amount of freshmen come out, we had a huge JV team which was great. We're hoping that there's going to be a huge turnout of freshmen again this year."
This year could be different. The coronavirus affected outreach efforts to middle schools the Panthers depend on yearly. Efforts that brought curious athletes to a still growing sport.
Kylah Smith entered high school without ever having a single minute of field hockey experience under her belt.
"Our field hockey summer camp is one of the first places I came to going into freshman year. I had never really heard about it before until then, but my friends and I had said okay this might be something new and fun," said Smith.
"We kind of just stuck with it so it's kind of just a really big learning environment in the summer," she added.
Dahlgren recognizes the importance early exposure to field hockey can do for incoming athletes.
"It really makes a difference. Those girls we see that, even in 8th grade and 9th grade, just that little extra amount of exposure. They're just that much more comfortable on the field when it comes to tryout time," said Dahlgren.
An environment dedicated to keeping camp-goers safe in a unique team sport.
"We've been having a ratio of no more than nine girls to one coach and keeping different groupings of activities going on throughout the field. There's not really any shared equipment anyways so that's a fortunate aspect of this the girls aren't sharing sticks and what not. The balls are only touching the sticks and so there's no real physical contact with the balls so we can do passing drills and such and we not have to worry about any germs being shared in that manor," said Dahlgren.
This one week camp begins July 20 until July 24. It costs $50 to attend. The camp is open to the community ranging from 4th grade to highs school graduates.
The deadline to register is July 15. To register, pay, and fill out the waiver click HERE