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Camp teaches fundamentals of baseball

Local area youths are attending the Robert Sapp Baseball Camp this week at Sweetwater Park.

"This is our 31st season holding baseball camp for youngsters, and the sixth camp we've had this year," said assistant camp director Tim Harris, who also coaches baseball for Wilcox County High School.

"We're real pleased with the turnout in Thomson. We've got about 53 boys here for the baseball camp."

The baseball camp gives young players an opportunity to improve in the fundamentals of the game, including throwing, hitting and teamwork.

"We work on the fundamentals in the morning, then give them a lunch break about mid-day," Harris said.

"We do lunch in two groups, where one group will watch a baseball video while the other has lunch, then switch it around for the second group, then we come out and have games in the afternoon. And we start every morning with a lecture on what we're trying to accomplish that day."

The program also includes a girls' softball camp, held simultaneously but separately from the boys' camp.

"We break the game down into different skills, and today we're working on hitting, throwing and catching," said softball coach Angela Crawford, who's going into her fifth season coaching softball for Houston County High School. "We've got 21 girls here for camp today, and that's up from 17 from last year. It's great to see more girls coming out and being active playing softball."

"It's pretty fun," said Hunter Rabun, 8, who was attending the camp.

"We worked on catching this morning, and I learned about how to grip the ball when I throw, too."

The camp accepts students ages 7-14, and they're grouped by age and skill level.

"We worked on throwing this morning, and we're fixing to work on hitting," said Dakota Wagner, 12, of Dearing. "It's fun. I'm enjoying it."

"Some of these kids will go on to play middle school and high school ball, and on into college," Harris said. "Some might even go on to play professionally. Jeff Francoeur and Adam Wainwight both attended Robert Sapp Baseball Camp when they were kids. We've actually had quite a few play in the big leagues, and they tell us they can still remember getting their ribbons at our camp."

The camp continues through Friday, with skills competitions Friday morning and then the final games that afternoon.

Web posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

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