• 36°

DHS Winter Baseball Camp

For the first time in eight years, mother natured smiled, and presented sunny blue skies over Demopolis Saturday for the Eighth Annual Demopolis High School Winter Baseball Camp.

“The weather was great. We put together a good lineup and had a great day. And hopefully we fired up some kids about baseball,” DHS head baseball coach James Moody said.

The sunny weather produced a good turnout of about 60 kids. Young players received quality advice and hands on instruction on all aspects of the game of baseball from a variety of sources that included:

Barry Dean-Wallace/Selma Community College Head Baseball Coach

Jason Smith-Detroit Tigers Infielder and former DHS player (’95 grad)

Justin Barnes-Detroit Tigers Catcher and former DHS player (’99 grad)

Jack Hazelrig-Greensboro High School head Baseball Coach

Cole Basinger-Faulkner State Pitcher and former DHS player (’01 grad)

Paul Ashe-Scout for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Each instructor worked with numerous groups of young players on many different areas

of the game form throwing and catching to hitting and fielding.

Many older players also benefited from this year’s camp as instructors spoke at length to players regarding many different facets of the game. Both Barnes and Smith spoke with players about issues such as making it to the next level, self confidence on and off the field and even issues that address looking like a ball player wherever you go.

“You may not be the best baseball player out on the field, but you must have confidence in yourself that you can get the job done,” Barnes said. “There are a lot of players out there that get down on themselves because they fail. What good does that do?

Baseball is a game of failures. Your going to fail every now and then, but it’s how you respond to it that makes the difference.”

Barnes, being a professional and knowing a thing or two about what it takes, also spoke to players about making the move to the next level and what can be expected. “Obviously a player must possess a certain level of talent, but just having talent isn’t going to get it done. A players mental attitude can make the most significant difference in whether or not he ever gets the honor of wearing a major league jersey,” Barnes said

“As you move up through the ranks of the game you will find that this game becomes more about heart than anything else. It’s year round, and you really have to love this game to be willing to do it everyday.”

Coach Dean also spoke to players Saturday about an issue that many players don’t ever thing about-looking like a ball player and the effects of a players poor or lazy grooming discussions.

“Shaggy long hair, side-burns and facial hair have no room in baseball.

And many coaches at the college and pro levels do not tolerate it. If you’re a ball player, then you should look like a ball player,” Dean said.

But the length of a player’s hair didn’t have any effects on Saturday as every camper was treated like a ball player.

“It’s nice to be able to give back to the kids. It’s good to come back and for them to see a home town person from the same walk of life as them that’s done something with baseball,” Smith said.