Matt Brown still remembers the days when he was one of Stillwater’s youth participating in the Stillwater High summer baseball camp.
So now, after finishing his freshman season playing baseball at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Brown enjoys working with those kids that one day may be following in his footsteps in the long line of baseball players to come through Stillwater and play ball at college.
“I’ve been going to these camps since I was six years old,” Brown said. “It’s nice now to get to come back and help out.”
The SHS summer baseball camp concludes Friday after a five days at Babcock Park on the southwest edge of town. Ages of participants ranged from middle school down through elementary — and even include a female participant.
SHS coach Tony Holt said he’s grateful for players like Brown, who help give an extreme bit of excitement for the little kids attending the camp.
“They remember being here and looking up to those older kids. Now you’ve got Matt Brown, a college guy who went through our camps, coming back and is teaching our kids,” Holt said. “He wants to be a coach in the future, so he’s also coaching with our summer team and now he’s working with this camp.
“It’s just exciting to have him back, because he loves the game and loves the Pioneers. He’s just having a blast working with these young ones. It’s a win-win situation for all of us and I hope the kids are getting something out of it.”
Brown was just one of several young adults to help with the camp, as several current SHS baseball players also helped at the camp with assistance of Tony Holt and his coaching staff.
Holt said that the little kids aren’t the only ones benefiting from the current players helping out. He said he sees and hears his high school players repeating concepts they learned during the high school season.
“You’ll hear them saying the same things they hear from us all season. They probably get tired of us saying the same thing, and out here I’ll hear one of them blurt out something that we’ve said during the year,” Holt said. “So it’s like a cycle. The stuff that they are learning, they are now trying to impart some of their knowledge on the younger kids to help them along.”
The Pioneer camp also has the benefit of having a place like Babcock Park to host the week-long event. Babcock has three different ball fields — which vary in size — to help spread the campers out, instead of clumping them together if they were to use Stillwater High’s ball field at Couch Park.
“For what we do, this is the perfect location. And I want to thank the city of Stillwater ... for allowing us to use this,” Holt said. “It’s just perfect.
“... Without this facility, it’s a lot tougher. We could do it at Couch Park, but with the difference in ages and the size of kids a danger could come into it. So now we have them broken into their own fields.”