LAGRANGE – When LaGrange High softball coach Gabby Heath decided to offer a youth softball camp this summer, she wanted to get her players involved.
So when the planning stages began, she asked her players if they’d be willing to come out and help out during the three-day camp.
The answer was a resounding yes.
During Wednesday’s camp session, the second of three during the week, there were 25 members of the LaGrange softball team on hand.
One of those players, soon-to-be senior Lauren Kuerzi, said she and her teammates have enjoyed being on the field with all the young campers.
“I really enjoy it, teaching the kids that haven’t had much instructional time,” Kuerzi said. “It’s really fun to help them. We want them to grow up and come to LaGrange, and come play here.”
The camp is serving as a fund-raiser for the team.
Money raised this week will help pay for a camp many of the Lady Grangers will be participating in next week in Columbus.
“They’re getting to teach the game, and also make some money while they’re doing it,” Heath said.
Heath, an assistant coach the past few years who is heading into her first season as the head coach, figured offering a camp would not help raise money, but would also serve as a community outreach program.
“We are very pleased,” Heath said. “It’s been a great opportunity for our high-school girls to reach out to the community, and get the younger girls excited about softball.”
The hours for each of three camp sessions was from 9 a.m. until noon, and Heath said she and the other instructors are trying to give the young players a solid foundation in the sport.
“It’s mostly basic skills, making sure they understand all about the fundamentals,” Heath said.
Each day they ended with a game where the campers are divided up into teams, and they chased each other around the bases.
On Wednesday, even though the campers had been out in the sun for three hours, they still had a lot of energy at the close of the camp session, and Heath was glad to see them pulling for each other and having fun.
“As we were doing that game, all of them were pumped up for each other, and cheering,” Heath said.
As for next week’s camp, which will be a part of the Higher Ground softball program, Kuerzi said it’ll be a great opportunity for the players to bond.
“We didn’t go last year, but we went the year before when it was (Jan Jones’) last year coaching,” Kuerzi said. “We really enjoyed it. Before we went to sleep, we just hung out in the room and just had fun. We’re looking forward to it.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports