David Kelton has been helping out at the LaGrange College baseball camp for the past few years, but this was his first time running the show.
Kelton, who recently completed his first season as the head coach of the LaGrange College baseball team, offered two different camp sessions, and the second and final one wrapped up on Friday.
Outside of a few afternoon rain storms that forced a change of location, Kelton felt everything went well.
Both camp sessions ran Monday through Friday.
“This week, it wasn’t as hot, but we had to deal with all the rain,” Kelton said on Friday after saying goodbye to the campers. “These last two days, we weren’t even able to get out there on our field, just because of the amount of rain. We used the softball field.”
Kelton, a Troup High graduate who played professional baseball for nearly 10 years before turning his attention to coaching, added that “we had everything we need to accommodate that amount of kids. We weren’t able to do the sliding portion of it these last two days. But, we were able to do the full camp schedule.”
There were 70 players the first week, and 55 the second week.
“The numbers were good. Both weeks, we were able to get a lot in,” Kelton said. “The biggest thing I wanted to focus on with the little kids out here was the fundamentals, just go back to the basics. Throwing and catching, groundballs, pop-ups, hitting, just at least give them a foundation to start with. It was good. We were able to do all that.”
Kelton was helped out by some area high-school coaches, including LaGrange’s Lee Phelps and Callaway’s Ashley Summerlin, as well as some of his own players at the college.
Two of the players who helped out were former Troup Tigers Jarred Adams and Jim Reed.
“It’s good for those guys. I’m a firm believer that to truly learn the game of baseball, you have to teach it,” Kelton said. “Then you learn how to not only understand what you’re teaching, but how can I get this across.”
Kelton was an assistant coach under Kevin Howard for four seasons at LaGrange College, and he was an instructor at the summer camp each of those years.
So while he was in charge of the camp this year, he saw a lot of young people he’d met in previous years.
“I saw a lot of familiar faces that we’ve seen in the past. And I saw a lot in both camps that I hadn’t seen before,” Kelton said. “It went well. I’m glad we didn’t get washed out.”