FUN IN NUMBERS: over 100 kids attend Seymour baseball camp

For The Tribune

Over 100 boys were at American Legion Field this week working on their baseball skills.

“We had 103 (Tuesday),” camp director and Seymour head baseball coach Jeremy Richey said. “We had this camp a couple of years before I took over and kind of grew it from there. We’re probably in year nine or 10 now and things are going really well.”

The campers, kindergarten through eighth graders, were divided into age groups.

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“We divided them up, and we did something a little different this year,” Richey said. “The younger kids do stations for about 15-20 minutes. We set up four or five stations. This year, at the beginning of every station we’re doing some type of agility. That’s become a big thing at the high school. We’re trying to make better athletes, so we incorporated that into our camp this year.

“So each station will start with an agility, and they’ll move onto some type of baseball skill, whether it’s a pitching station or a hitting station, or base-running. We’ve got some outfield stuff going on today, and we’re turning double plays down there at the other end.”

Max Campbell, 9, said he was attending the camp for the third time.

“I like everything about the camp,” he said. “Baseball is fun.”

He said his main position is third base although he pitches some. He said one of his favorite drills was one that involved shuffling his feet while working on double plays.

Campbell, a Chicago Cubs fan, said he plays league and travel baseball, and attended the basketball camp in Seymour last week, is also planning on attending the Seymour soccer camp, and the Indiana University basketball camp this summer.

“We put the little guys on the soccer field because it’s a big area,” Richey said. “It’s a rectangular area so we can keep them away from each other so no body’s getting hurt. I appreciate the soccer coaches letting us do this because this makes our camp so much easier because we can divide these kids up in a lot of places.

“They’re moving around a lot and they’re doing different things every session. It’s not just stand there and take ground balls all day, and you can just see the excitement. This is the age group where its fun and you tell them to run from one station to another and they think that’s really cool.”

While the younger groups were working on the soccer field, the older campers, grades six through nine, were at different stations on the varsity field.

“The sixth to ninth is more of a practice type,” Richey said. “We break it down, as we do our practice sessions. We’re doing more advanced drills with them. It’s not rotating, it’s more specific to the position that you play.

“We’re showing them how we break down practices from our dynamic stretching to our throwing program to our individual defensive period to a group or team period.”

He said the older group would be in the hitting facility the last 35-40 minutes working on hitting.

Treyton McCormick, 13, said he has been coming to the baseball camp since age 6.

“I’ve grown up playing baseball. I like hitting,” he said before taking his turn hitting off a T. “I’m working on my contact so I can get more to where I’m swinging the bat a lot better. I’m just trying to get a level swing so I don’t pop the ball up.”

McCormick, who likes the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays, said he enjoys playing second base.

“I like that you get a lot more balls than playing the outfield because if the pitcher is throwing good strikes and they hit the ball to you you’re going to get a lot of chances,” McCormick said.

He played on the middle school team this spring, and said when fielding ground balls you want to keep your right hand close to your glove so you can get the ball out of the glove and make a quick throw.

Richey said on Thursday (final day of the camp) the kids had a little facetime from Zack Brown.

Brown is a Seymour High School graduate who is pitching in the Milwaukee Brewers organization with the Biloxi Shuckers, a Double-A team.

McCormick said he plans to attend Brown’s pitching camp in the future.

Several members of the coaching staff and the high school teams assisted Richey at the camp.