By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Wednesday morning’s rain may have soaked the baseball field at Babcock Park, but it didn’t wipe out the Stillwater Pioneer’s baseball camp as it went indoors at the Pioneers’ hitting facility.
“We have good kids and they are having a good time,” coach Tony Holt said. “We can get a lot more done when we are outside but we are fortunate that we do have an indoor facility and don’t have to cancel.”
Forty children ages 8 to 13 are participating. The last two days, they’ve had to use the hitting facility. The camp opened Monday and will end Thursday at noon. Holt said they are focused on the fundamentals.
“We can do plenty of hitting (at our indoor facility),” Holt said. “In this camp we do defense and offense, we try to do everything except pitching and catching. We do every facet of baseball.”
The Pioneers’ coach said though he hopes his campers become better baseball players, the most important thing is that they have fun.
“They will learn something whether they notice or not,” Holt said. “We want them to come here and have fun. Give them a positive outlook on Pioneer baseball and make it something they want to do someday.”
One of the fun things for the campers and for Holt is having former Pioneers return to help coach the camp.
“We got a good relationship with our former players,” Holt said. “We get to see them during Christmas break and the summer. Most of them are playing in the summer. During Christmas break they will come back and workout with us and stay in shape for their seasons in the spring. Of course during the summer, we got some coaching with our summer teams. We always like them coaching camp.
“It’s good to have them tell the kids the same stuff we do,” Holt said. “They are good ambassadors for the program because they played here. It means something to them, otherwise they wouldn’t be here. They are excited about Pioneer baseball, they’ve been a Pioneer baseball player. They are just helping others learn the craft, so they can be future Pioneer baseball players.”
Holt said the camp gives his staff a great advantage because they can build relationships with the children and some may even don the Pioneers’ blue and gold uniform themselves.
“I’ve been here long enough that I got players playing now that went through these camps and even before,” Holt said. “It’s always nice to watch these kids grow up — from little kids like these campers to our own players.”