TSU baseball camps underway in Troy

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2001

Sports Editor

Troy State assistant head baseball coach Rod McWhorter and a number of Trojan players have been busy this week conducting the Troy Youth Baseball School.

The school, which started on Monday and will conclude today, is for ages 6-13 and is held at Franklin Field.

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Although some young players may have missed out on this week’s inaugural baseball school, McWhorter said they’ll get a chance to participate in July. On July 9-13 there will be a second session of the Troy Youth Baseball School.

"We’ve been doing the Youth Baseball Schools for about seven years now and it keeps on getting bigger and bigger," said McWhorter, who coordinates the Youth Baseball School sessions. "This is such a great way for us to promote the game of baseball and the kids get really involved in it."

McWhorter said participants in the school are not just limited to the Troy-Pike County area and that the sessions have averaged from 30-40 youngsters per day.

"We get kids from all over the place," he said. "There’s a few players from Enterprise who have come everyday this week and we’ve had players here from Greenville, Brantley, Luverne…everywhere."

The idea of the Troy Youth Baseball Schools, said McWhorter, is for youngsters to be able to learn the basic fundamentals of the game in a stress-free atmosphere.

"For the first three hours we work on the fundamentals of throwing, fielding and batting. You can never get enough of that when learning baseball," he said. "After that we divide the kids up into age groups and let them play a game for about hour."

The school starts at 8 a.m. and runs to noon. McWhorter said the youngsters are given free T-shirts and there is an athletic trainer on hand in case of any sudden injuries.

"We keep athletic trainers here for the sake of the participants," said McWhorter. "We want the parents of these kids to know that their children are learning in a safe environment."

Besides the Youth Baseball Schools, McWhorter also coordinates the Troy State University Baseball Camps, which will hold three sessions this summer. Each session is two days long with the first day devoted to hitting and the second to pitchers and catchers exclusively. The camps are for ages 8-18.

McWhorter said the summer camps are more "specialized" in general.

"In the summer camps we put the kids through extensive drill work," he said. "Say for pitchers and catchers, they’ll be working on proper mechanics all day long and we’ll teach them some drills that they’re able to take home and work with. We like to give each player individual attention."

And that individual attention carries over when a former summer camp attendant grows into a star shortstop or pitcher in high school and starts looking for a college.

"We get to see a lot of these kids early in our camps and follow their careers through high school," said McWhorter. "And we’ve signed a lot of kids that have come through our camps. Plus it helps us out in recruiting because they’re coming to us."

Troy State’s summer baseball camps start on June 16-17. The first day will be a hitting camp and the second a pitchers/catchers camp. Both of these camps will be held at Troy State’s Riddle-Pace Field, as will the July 23-24 camp.

The July 14-15 camp will be held at Northview High School in Dothan.

"We like to hold a session in Dothan because we play some tournaments down there during the season," said McWhorter.