The LaGrange High softball team accomplished a lot during a camp last week in Watkinsville.
The players had some top-notch instruction, and they got to play games against some other teams across the state.
They also got to enjoy a meal at one of the state’s most famous eating establishments.
“There were several that had never eaten at the Varsity, and we found one in Athens,” LaGrange softball coach Jan Jones said.
Put it all together, the coaching, the games, the team-building, and of course the chili dogs and the Frosted Oranges, and it was a highly successful undertaking.
“It was a really good camp,” Jones said. “I think we took 16 girls. We got a lot of instruction, a lot of playing time. It was nice.”
The name of the camp was the Higher Ground Softball Camp, and the LaGrange team stayed in Athens.
“In the morning, they have sessions that you attend, and then you break for lunch and come back and play games,” Jones said. “We just had a good time. We feel like it’s a great first step to a new season.”
Jones believes getting away from home is important for the players.
“I really prefer going out of town, because you don’t get that true team bonding until you have your team where it’s just y’all,” Jones said. “To me, that was very important to the coaching staff that they bonded while they were there, along with instruction.”
LaGrange is coming off a successful 2013 season that ended with a loss to Northwest Whitfield in the opening round of the state tournament.
The Lady Grangers finished with a 20-10 record.
There are some significant holes to fill as the team looks ahead to a new season, most notably on the pitcher’s mound, with four-year starter Emily Anderson having graduated and moved on to Georgia Tech where she’ll play softball.
Another four-year starter, Karsin Spinks, has also graduated and is set to play college softball.
LaGrange has a solid group of players returning, and Jones feels the incoming freshmen will contribute as well.
At the camp last week, Jones said the new players and the veterans worked well together.
“We practiced three days a week leading up to that, just to see where everybody fits,” Jones said. “We wanted to take definitely our varsity team, and then due to injuries we had to take a few eighth-graders. They fit in great. You would have never known they were eighth-graders. They did a tremendous job. It was fun, it was exciting. Everybody got a lot of playing time, there was a lot of instruction. It was a good three days.”