LaGrange High softball team holds camp
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – She enjoyed being back at a place that holds such special meaning for her.
For four seasons, Karsin Spinks was a standout player on the LaGrange High softball team, and she enjoyed tremendous individual and team success.
Spinks graduated from LaGrange High in 2014, and for the past three springs, she has been playing for the Samford University softball team.
This week, Spinks has been back at LaGrange’s softball field helping out as an instructor during a youth softball camp.
The LaGrange High Softball Camp began on Monday and concluded today, and nearly 30 girls from the ages of 6 to 12 are participating.
Among the instructors are the coaches and players from LaGrange High, as well as a former Lady Granger standout in Spinks, and she had a blast.
“It’s been so much fun,” Spinks said. “The younger girls were so much fun, just to watch them come out here, and just learn the game of softball. Today, we did a lot of footwork stuff, and it was great seeing them just want to learn. Everybody’s out here having such a great time, and I’m just glad to be out here.”
The camp is run by Gabby Heath, LaGrange’s head coach, and she said the young players have had a good time.
“Most of them didn’t want to leave at the end of the day,” Heath said. “They wanted to stay. That was good to see.”
The camp serves as a fund-raiser for the LaGrange softball program.
Primarily, it helps pay some of the cost associated with the Higher Ground softball camp that will be held in Columbus later this month.
“It cuts all their dues pretty much in half for the camp,” said LaGrange assistant coach Jeff Skinner. “We have figured out those camps are great. We get a lot of learning in, but just from a team-bonding side it is just outstanding.”
Skinner said the number of campers was just about right.
“Thirty is good,” Skinner said. “Forty would have almost been too much truthfully. The groups are a good enough size that it works well.”
During the week, the campers have gotten plenty of instruction on the field, and they also got to spend some time in the indoor hitting facility.
The instructors include Heath and Skinner, as well as Craig Mobley and Jim Reed who will be joining the staff as assistant coaches this fall.
Also, the members of the LaGrange softball team have been on the field, leading the young players through the paces.
As for Spinks, she said it’s “hard to believe it was three years ago that I was playing on this field, and I only have one year of softball left. That’s crazy.”
Spinks has enjoyed her time at Samford, and she has been a part of a team that won a conference championship in 2016 and came close to repeating last season.
“We came in second in conference this year,” Spinks said. “Last year we won the whole thing. Hopefully we’ll get back up there and win it again our senior year.”
Spinks added that “I love Samford, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
As for Spinks’ old team, a new season is a little more than two months away, and the Lady Grangers will stay busy as they get ready.
In addition to the camp in Columbus, the Lady Grangers are participating in workouts throughout the summer.
Official preseason practice gets under way on Aug. 1 according to the Georgia High School Association calendar, and teams can begin playing on Aug. 5.