Coach Ben Kleber says while he and the baseball coaching staff at Trinity Lutheran High School wanted to teach the game of baseball to area youth, he also wanted them to have fun.
That is the reason Cole Brooks returned for the camp last week.
Brooks, an incoming sixth-grader at St. John’s Sauers, said he attended the camp last year for the first time.
“It was fun last year, so I decided to come back,” he said. “I’m just trying to improve everything. I like to play third base.”
He said that is where he plays on his league and travel teams, and he has confidence in his defense.
Brooks bats right-handed. After hitting off the T one afternoon at the camp, he said, “I just try to get a level swing and improve my stance and get more power.”
He said baseball is a team game.
“I like how everybody needs to work as a team, and it’s all about communication,” he said.
Kleber said the number of campers changed from day to day.
“We had between 30 and 35, from kindergarten all the way through incoming eighth-graders,” he said. “The 35 has been great. Four years ago when I started, we had eight.
It has been a nice increase from eight to 35, so we’re excited, and it’s nice to see all the kids. It has been a nice mixture.
“We had some Brownstown kids come over and obviously some Seymour kids and some Sauers kids,” he said. “We’ve had a couple girls that came out this year that wanted to do something, so we invited them, and hopefully, we can expand on that a little more next year.”
He said the coaches worked with the campers on their swings.
“We worked on our approach of really working with them to get loaded when they want to swing. A lot of kids, even at the high school level, they want to swing with their arms and not use the rest of their body,” he said. “So we’re trying to concentrate on that with the T, and then they go to wiffleball and hit a little more serious pitches. Then we’ve got the bunting station in there, and the older kids will get to take batting practice and hit to the field.”
Kleber said with the kindergarten through second grade campers, they work more on fielding ground balls, how to run the bases and play some wiffleball to break things up.
He said the coaches also worked with the younger group on where to throw the ball to in various situations.
Landry Warren, an incoming fourth-grader at Lutheran Central, said this was his third year attending the Trinity camp.
“I’m on a league team in Brownstown. I don’t play all-stars because I play golf,” he said.
He said he wanted to work on all parts of his game at the camp.
“I like the things you get to do. They have a home run derby and a lot of fun stuff,” he said.
On defense, he has played most of the infield positions as well as catcher.
“I like to catch because you have a lot of action,” he said. “You’re catching the pitches and getting the ball out as fast as you can. I like to play defense.”
Kleber said he and his staff want the kids to learn about baseball and see Trinity’s and get to know them.
“They’re a great group of young men, and I love that they’re all out here, and we had nine (Trinity varsity players) here helping with camp,” he said.