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Trojans host hitting camp

Charles Henderson High first-year Head Baseball Coach Josey Shannon, his players and staff will host a “Hitting For Hunger” camp this Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the CHHS indoor hitting facility.

There is no cost, but every participant must bring a minimum of five canned goods, with all collections going to area Troy and Pike County food banks. The hitting camp is open to all youngsters from all schools currently in the 3rd through the 6th grades.

“The main objective is to do a community service event that will be beneficial during the Holidays for people, especially the less fortunate,” said Coach Shannon. “It seems that every time we turn around there are fund-raising efforts for a lot of things, and I like to try to give back, and to do something for the community instead of just trying to ask for things.
“I want to teach our players the importance of giving, and the importance of looking around to see what needs to be done in our community. It’s small but we are trying to help. At the same time I am getting a chance to meet some of these young kids that are coming up, and Lord willing, I will be able to coach these kids in five, six, seven years.”

Coach Shannon expects emphasis on the camp to begin with the basics, but players will also hit in the cages and be evaluated by the coaching staff and others.

“Coach Shane Gierke will come over from Troy University,” said Coach Shannon. “He is the Head Assistant under Coach Mark Smartt, and he is going to try to encourage these kids to do the right thing. With a three-hour camp, there is not a whole lot that can be taught during that time, but we are going to cover the basics of hitting including the stance, grip, rhythm, and the basic motor skills of the swing. Hopefully each player will catch on and build off of that. During the summer, we will also have a three-day camp, and they can take what they learn and apply it  to their season and always keep learning.”

In addition to Coach Gierke, special guest coaches of the camp will be Justin Veazey, a former player of Coach Shannon’s and now a current middle coach at Clanton, and Bill White, a long-time friend of Coach Shannon’s that also pitched in the majors for the Texas Rangers.

While Coach Shannon believes the camp will be beneficial to all, he hopes everyone will take more from it than just hitting advice.

“With the canned goods, we hope to teach them to be good people and do the right things,” said Coach Shannon. “It’s not all about baseball. I know winning is important, but all of these things go hand in hand. We are trying to get some work done on the baseball side of things, but most importantly, this is about community service, especially for the less fortunate. That’s our main goal.”

Pre-registration is not required but players need to be at the CHHS indoor hitting facility in before 9 a.m. this Saturday, Dec. 10.