Brandon Young learned a lot about baseball from his hometown. Now he wants to pass a little of that knowledge on to the next generation of stars on the diamond.
The 2002 Thomson High graduate is starting on the Gordon College baseball team. With his connections to coaches and current and former college players, he decided he could pull off something for this area that few people were in a position to do.
His Champions for Christ baseball camp will take place on the THS field, starting with a pitcher and catcher camp on Dec. 18 and 20 and continuing with a camp for all positions Dec. 27-29.
"We're trying to give back to the community, and we're going to try to bring the best things we can in," Mr. Young said.
The camps, which are open to kids age eight to 18, has a dual purpose, according to Mr. Young. It will teach them baseball skills and introduce them to a game and a life focused on Jesus.
"It's going to help benefit the children in the community to learn how to go and be a witness for Jesus on the baseball field and how to have a good attitude," he said. "We're going to teach them how to be successful in life on the field and off the field, with Jesus Christ as the head of their life."
Several notable baseball personalities will be at the camp to help with instruction and to share their life experiences with the kids.
Tim Nihart, the head baseball coach at the Division II school North Greenville College is scheduled to be at the three-day camp. Also, several current minor league players will attend to help with the camp.
Other local high school coaches will be on hand to give some pointers to their future players. THS Coach Brad Smith, who will help out at the camp, hopes it will spark area-wide interest in baseball.
"I think it would be real insightful for those younger kids because they can take advantage of the opportunity of having someone that's currently playing on the next level to talk to them about different aspects of baseball," he said.
"Brandon's a fine young man. He works hard, and it's shown," Coach Smith added.
Mr. Young hopes that his focus and discipline will spill over into the kids he will be teaching at the camps. Aside from helping increase interest in baseball, he wants the participants to learn that they all can be champions.
"A champion is found within," he said. "You might not be a Michael Vick. You might not be a Greg Maddox. Or you might not be Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jetter, but there's some kind of champion in you that's going to burst out that you can help out and you can give back to what God's given you."
The pitcher and catcher camp will cost $40, and the full camp will cost $70. A portion of the proceeds will go toward mission work. For more information or to register, call 466-0735.