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Players hone skills in baseball camp

The Robert Sapp Baseball Camp concluded Friday with the presentation of ribbons, certificates and trophies to this year's campers.

After a week of training in the fundamentals, ribbons and trophies were presented to campers in the categories of most improved, best hitter, best thrower, best runner and most hustle, among others.

"The main reason you got better was that you practiced every day," softball coach Angela Crawford said as she passed out ribbons to girls who had completed softball camp. "If you want to play middle school and high school softball, that's what you have to do -- practice, practice, practice."

"I loved the softball camp," Bryanna Ligon, 9, said during Friday's final round of afternoon games. "I learned a lot and had a good time. I want to be a pitcher in middle school and high school when I'm older."

Parents paid $125 per camper for the weeklong camp, which featured instruction in fundamentals in the morning and games in the afternoon.

"Her skills have definitely improved tremendously," said Bryanna's mother, Natalie. "It's really been great. It was money well spent."

It was a sentiment shared by other parents at the final ceremonies.

"It was my sons' second year attending," said Dan Dykstra as he watched his sons Donavan, 8, and Danny, 6, receive ribbons. "The coaches are strict and focus on the fundamentals, and they do a great job. This is one of the least expensive camps available, and the amount of time the coaches put in, both in the mornings and afternoons, is just incredible.

"And what I really like about this camp is that they learn in the morning and play in the afternoon. That, to me, is what really makes the difference."

Camp founder and coach Robert Sapp said the Thomson camp is one of his favorites.

"The kids are really great," he said. "The parents do a great job in their discipline, and the kids want to learn and to work hard."

For Sapp, it's all about seeing the campers become better ball players.

"We don't charge a lot and we don't really make a lot of money holding these camps, but we do it 'cause we love to see the kids learning and improving in their skills, and that's what it's all about," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011

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