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State Champion Lady Cats Use Community Resources as Competitive Advantage

Over the years, Clarion Volleyball has used the resources available to them to help take their program to an even higher level.

(Photos by Kirkland Photography.)

Peak Performance, a class offered by the Clarion YMCA is one helpful tool for the Clarion Lady Bobcats program. Since 2007, the program has used this service to get stronger, jump higher, and become more physically and mentally fit. Though this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, the partnership looked a little bit different. The YMCA and the Clarion YMCA could not work together like old times, but 2021 is a new year.

This season, the Clarion volleyball team got themselves in good shape and prepared through a preseason camp. Additionally, they received services from former Division I athlete, professional triathlete, and registered dietitian, Kim Schwabenbauer. A native of Knox, Schwabenbauer is also a professor at Clarion University specializing in sports nutrition within the Nutrition and Fitness program.

Schwabenbauer was looking for a way to get involved in the community to fulfill requirements for her PhD program, so she decided to get involved with this already successful Clarion County team. The girls bought in and benefitted from a talk and advice she gave to them, so it was a win-win for both parties involved.

“I made sure I was talking about getting enough electrolytes and calories because they were practicing and doing resistance training in the hottest part of the year,” Schwabenbauer said.

Kim Schwabenbauer.

Kim Schwabenbauer.

The Keystone High School grad and former Penn State Nittany Lion runner also went on to talk about the difficulties of eating.

“Providing your body with the right foods and beverages during certain critical windows is just another part of the mastery in being a good athlete. It is important to give our bodies enough fuel for competition and recovery.”

Shifting over to the Clarion YMCA, the organization’s director, Jesse Kelly, provided some insight and personal thoughts on seeing the young women from Clarion Volleyball improve as athletes and people. Typically, we train the girls six-seven hours per week for nine weeks over the summer. The changes I see in them both as people is amazing. Their confidence and fitness both improve each year. I am hopeful to continue our partnership in 2021.”


Clarion Volleyball Head Coach Shari Campbell also provided a nice perk of the program as well.

“The student-athletes are able to use these summer workouts to fulfill physical education credits, and I think this gives them more flexibility in their schedule to take more classes. What we are all able to provide the girls is important because we have some resources to help, and it is great that they take advantage of it.”

The partnerships Clarion Volleyball has surely helped contribute to their success, but at the end of the day, these young women and their coaches are the biggest driving force. It is incredible to look back on what they accomplished this season and also to see how the community came together in many facets to support them in various ways. The Lady Bobcats have a good thing going and are setting the precedent on how a successful volleyball program should operate.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Clarion Wins State Volleyball Title