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Galaxy softball camp set

By Henry Luzzatto

Correspondent

 

Galaxy Fastpitch Softball will host its 11th annual summer skills camp July 28-30.

Though Galaxy Fastpitch is a nationally-ranked softball club, this camp will be for beginners and younger players who want to get familiar with the sport.

“It’s for all skill levels, but it’s mostly for the younger players to practice their skills,” said Bobby Kinsey, who runs the camp.

The camp is divided into two sessions each day. The first session, from 9 a.m. to noon, is for ages eight to 10. The second session, from 1 to 4 p.m., is for 11- and 12-year-olds.

The first day of camp is focused mostly on fielding, with an emphasis on catching and throwing the ball correctly.

“We want to teach them proper mechanics,” Kinsey said.

The camp’s second day emphasizes batting. On the third and final day, the coaches hold a review, and then the kids play a full scrimmage to demonstrate their abilities.

Managers and coaches from the nationally-renowned club will coach the camp, with assistance from current and former Galaxy players.

One of the players who will help coach the camp is Sarah Bowyer, a member of Lakeland High School’s class of 2014 and a current softball player for North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Bowyer said she helps with the camp, because she wants to help younger players develop the same passion for the sport she has.

“Galaxy is where I started playing, and they helped me in more ways than just softball,” she said. “I just wanted to give back to a team that gave a lot to me.”

Bowyer also helps coach Galaxy’s 14U team during the summer. Because she is experienced with both age groups, Bowyer said there is a big difference between them.

“It may seem like a small age gap, but skill-wise and mentally, it’s a big difference,” she said. “When you coach 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds, they’re still little girls, so you have to have more patience.”

Galaxy has a history of letting former players who perform at a college level come back to help coach. Bowyer said she is happy to continue this tradition.

“It gives them something to strive for,” she said. “I remember seeing college players when I was that age and thinking that could be me someday.”

Kinsey said the camp acts as a fundraiser for Galaxy. The camp costs $85 to attend. Usually, he said, between 50 and 70 players attend the camp each summer. They expect a similar number this year.

Kinsey attributes the success of the camp to the renown of Galaxy’s teams.

“We have seven teams playing nationally,” he said.

Though the camp is a way to raise money for Galaxy, Kinsey and Bowyer both said getting girls interested in the sport is the true goal of the camp.

“I love softball,” Bowyer said, “and it’s important to me that they know the love never fades.”

Registration for the camp is still open. Go to www.GalaxyFastpitch.org or call Donna Holmes at 376-2185 for more information.