LaGrange softball team holds camp
Published 11:11 am Friday, June 14, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Another one’s in the books.
Since she took over as LaGrange High’s head softball coach before the 2016 season, Gabby Heath has offered a youth camp each summer.
This year’s four-day camp wrapped up on Thursday, with close to 20 young players participating.
Each of the members of LaGrange’s softball team served as instructors, and Heath enjoys watching them interact with the campers.
“They love watching them get better,” Heath said. “They really enjoy instructing younger kids, and taking the love of the game and passing it on. They have a good time doing it.”
Heath added that “this year we have a lot of younger ones, so this time we worked on a lot of basic fundamentals, and worked on having some fun while we’re doing it. We’re teaching the game with a tennis racket. It’s not conventional, but they’re learning the game.”
The camp not only gives the young players an opportunity to learn the sport, but it also serves as a fund-raiser for the LaGrange softball program.
Money raised this week is used to off-set the expense of a team camp LaGrange will attend at the University of West Georgia in July.
“All the money that we raise goes toward the girls and the expense of the camp, so that parents aren’t having to pay out as much in order for them to go to camp,” Heath said. “The camp is important to us, because we’re getting instruction from college coaches, and they’re getting exposure.”
The players will not only be getting in their work in on the field, but they’ll also be spending the night at West Georgia, which will provide some valuable bonding time.
Heath said that’s “especially important when we’re mixing in a larger new group of kids. They spend the night, and they get an opportunity to do some team-bonding stuff while they’re there, and really get to know each other. And we normally let our old ones pair up with our new ones, and try to keep the culture the same.”
LaGrange is coming off a successful season.
LaGrange went 22-9 and finished third in Region 5-AAAA before losing in the first round of the state tournament to Oconee County. In the third-and-deciding game of the state-playoff series, Oconee County won 5-4 in eight innings.
Most of the key players from that team return, and LaGrange could be poised to enjoy a special season.
“They’ve all been working,” Heath said. “They know what it’s going to take. They’re going to have to work more, work harder. They didn’t like that feeling (of losing at state) at all.”