Young baseball players flocked to the Cullman High School baseball camp this week for a chance to meet and learn from their favorite Bearcats. / Nick Griffin
We want them to be excited about what Cullman baseball is about and show them that these guys they hear about and come watch and read about in the paper are really good guys, normal guys like them. We want to show them that they want to carry that into their realm whatever that is, whether its baseball, basketball, football or church or whatever."Coach Brent Patterson
CULLMAN – Cullman High School's annual baseball camp began Wednesday morning at Bill Shelton field as dozens of players came out to learn from Cullman High School's players and coaches, as well as to work with several former Bearcats like Wallace State shortstop Kolby Robinson, Mississippi State commit Owen Lovell, Wheeler Eastman, Alabama commit Noah Fondren and Snead State commit Kade Williams.
Getting to know the kids and having fun are the most important things head coach Brent Patterson likes to get out of this camp every year.
"We want them to come and have a lot of fun, learn a little bit and we want to build a relationship so that when they go home we hope they had a positive experience and they can talk to their parents about the good guys and leaders they met." Patterson said. "We want to continue this Cullman tradition and the culture we have built around investing in others. We want them to be excited about what Cullman baseball is about and show them that these guys they hear about and come watch and read about in the paper are really good guys, normal guys like them. We want to show them that they want to carry that into their realm whatever that is, whether its baseball, basketball, football or church or whatever."
Patterson is also excited to be able to work with kids just a day after two of his former players were selected in the Major League Draft. Jacob Heatherly was selected 77th overall by the Reds and Keegan Thompson was selected 105th by the Cubs. Patterson believes that helps keep the excitement around Cullman baseball growing.
"You look and you see the Caleb Clays, the Chase Mallards, the Ben Moores and then Jacob and Keegan, it lets our guys and these young guys know that they were campers just like them a few years back. It lets them know that anything can happen here and it’s a really neat deal."
One of the campers, fifth grader Graham McAdams, couldn't pick one thing he was looking forward to at camp, he was excited for all of it, but he was able to pick his favorite Cullman player, Will Morrison. That pick was appropriate considering where Graham plays. "I play pitcher and first base and I want to work on a tiny bit of hitting." McAdams said.
Another camper, fifth grader Fysher Dahlke, has been playing baseball since he was 3 years old. His favorite player was also an appropriate choice considering the part of camp he is most looking forward to. Owen Lovell is Fysher's favorite player, perhaps because Fysher is a center fielder who was most looking forward to the home run derby. He did mention that he was also there to improve on fielding ground balls.
The coaches and players take the same goals into this camp every year and those are to stay safe, have fun and share the culture of Cullman baseball with a new generation of up and coming ball players.
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