WEST POINT, Ala. – They had to fight off a light rain shower Wednesday morning, but the Warriors were out on the field with a group of young players for this year’s West Point Youth Baseball Camp. Varsity players and coaches at West Point High School were back out on the field after another big season to work with the next generation of potential Warriors.
West Point’s baseball team is coming off another postseason appearance in which the Warriors fell in a tight, three-game series at Sardis in round one. They also finished runners-up in Area 15 to the Russellville Golden Tigers who went on to win this year’s 5A state title. A handful of senior playmakers just collected their diplomas last week so now is as good a time as any to start preparing the next generation of Warriors.
West Point Head Coach Drew Bryson was leading the camp alongside his assistants and players. Bryson wanted the camp to focus on the fundamentals of the game to give the young players something to build on as they get older.
“We are covering the basics and trying to help these young guys build a foundation that will help their development as they get older,” Bryson said. “Simple things like throwing mechanics, ground ball footwork, hitting mechanics, base running and outfield play. With baseball, if you can master the simple things, you have a chance to be a good player.”
Last year’s camp had to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and even with rain falling as they arrived, everyone was happy to be back on the field Wednesday. Bryson was happy for the return to normalcy, but he was also excited to see the kids laying the groundwork for baseball careers in the future.
“The youth camp is something our coaching staff and players look forward to every June. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have a camp last summer, so it was great to be able to be back out there teaching these young kids again this year,” Bryson said. “As a program, it’s important to us to have that relationship with the community and spend some time working with the future of our program and instill in those young guys the desire and passion to want to play baseball for us one day.”
Bryson knows the camp is a great opportunity for the younger players in the community to grow and develop but he thinks its great for his current players as well. The camp gives them a chance to grow their own understanding of the game and make an impact on some of their youngest and biggest fans at the same time.
“It’s absolutely huge for our guys. I’m a firm believer that if you spend some time teaching a skill to someone else, it’ll help your understanding and improve your skill sets as well. So, having our guys helping and teaching at camp is not only beneficial for the kids at camp, its great for our players as well,” Bryson said. “The youth camp is also a reminder to our guys that they are role models to these kids and how they conduct themselves on and off the field matters.”
The Warriors will be back on the field at West Point High School for day two of this year’s camp Thursday at 9 a.m.
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