Cougars baseball camp fun for all involved

Ben Kleber said he had the boys who attended the Trinity Lutheran youth baseball camp do most of the same things he has the Cougars do at the beginning of practice each day.

Kleber, head baseball coach at the high school, said on the first day of camp, they went through the same stretching program.

“And then what we do for our prepractice, fly balls and ground balls of breaking it down to the smallest detail of no glove fielding with your hand all the way to standing up,” he said. “We taught them how to run the bases to first base, and then for the older kids, we talked about leading off.”

The camp was held last week on the baseball field at the high school with 20 boys in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Eight of the varsity Cougars from this past spring worked with the campers. Also helping was Noah Voelker, a former Cougars baseball player who graduated in 2020.

Bode Brooks, 12, who attended the camp for the third time, said he wanted to improve his mechanics of how to hit, throw and catch.

“I like to play third base, catcher and left field,” he said. “I pitch a little bit.”

He said when he is batting, he tries to go with the pitch.

“I try to aim it toward different places in the field,” he said. “I try to adjust to what the pitcher is throwing and where the defense is at.”

Brooks plays travel ball with the Seymour Diamondbacks.

“I like to hit and spend time with friends,” he said.

Another camper, Cole Brooks, 10, who attends St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School, said as he was preparing to hit off a tee, he likes a bat he can easily swing and make contact with.

“You want it to be lighter so you can have a good balance in your hand. I look for pitches from my belly button down to my ankles,” he said.

This was his first time attending the camp.

“For first-timers, this is a very good experience for them,” he said. “I don’t like watching very many sports on TV. I just like playing them. I play baseball, football, basketball and this year, I’m starting soccer.”

Kleber said later in the week, he had the campers review what they had learned on the first day of camp.

“Then we did some hitting and gave them some of the hitting drills we do off the tee to take home with them,” he said.

On the final day of the camp, he had the campers take part in some fun activities, like a home run derby, making a throw to a target, field ground balls and play knock out with ground balls.

“Then we played tennis ball or Wiffleball to end it,” he said. “It was a good camp. We couldn’t ask for better weather.”