Moriarty volleyball coach works through pain to put on annual summer camp

Moriarty High School's volleyball coach Kim Bell, flanked by her varsity players, with a group of younger students at last week's summer camp. Photo by G. Demarest.

“Hands back, then up to the bow-and-arrow,” Moriarty volleyball coach Kim Bell said to a group of youngsters at last week’s skills camp.

Bell pulled her arms apart like Katniss Everdeen from “Hunger Games,” and then leaned back as if to shoot an invisible bow skyward.

The bow-and-arrow move was just one of many instructional drills offered during the annual summer volleyball camp that Bell has been putting on for 14 years.

Nearly 50 girls—most of them middle-schoolers—participated in the morning session; an afternoon session was provided for high school players.

“I think it’s really important that these kids are exposed to the game of volleyball,” Bell said of the morning participants. “Once they get into a gym and experience what this sport is all about and see how much fun it is—the kids love it.”

Despite dealing with a painful sciatic nerve that hindered her ability to stand for long intervals, Bell still put on the annual camp. She could only stand for short intervals, relying the rest of the time on a roller chair to maneuver around the gym.

“I’m trying to still make it work,” she said.

Current varsity players helped with the morning camp, which is important to Bell. “It’s great for them to teach what they know and give back a little bit,” Bell said.

Some of the varsity players were participants in the camp when they were younger, like Moriarty junior Malia Howe.

“It’s crazy, it’s like it was yesterday,” Howe said. “I remember how helpful [the varsity players] were to me.”

“It’s good to see the full circle of that,” Bell added.

During the afternoon session, Bell recruited help from former Portales coach Ruth Chavez, who is now coaching at Clovis High School.

“She’s well-known and very respected,” Bell said of Chavez.

Moriarty senior Alyssa Adams agreed, saying, “It’s always good to get a different point of view.”

As for Moriarty’s upcoming season, Bell said the team has done well during its summer activities, including winning the gold bracket at the UNM tournament last month.

“I’m excited,” Bell said. “I think there’s a lot of potential.”

Moriarty’s volleyball season kicks off Aug. 25 at the Belen tournament.

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