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Baseball camp on its way

January can mean a lot of things–cold weather, the Super Bowl, keeping resolutions–but to a number of young ballplayers in and around Demopolis, it means it’s almost time for the Demopolis Baseball Camp.

For the eighth consecutive year, area ballplayers from age six through high school age are invited to the Demopolis High baseball field Saturday, January 28, for a morning spent honing their skills under the tutelage of a group of Major League professionals.

Demopolis head coach James Moody says this year’s camp staff will include Cy Young candidate Jake Peavy of the Sand Diego Padres, pitcher Scott Sullivan of the Kansas City Royals, catcher Jeremy Brown from the Oakland A’s organization, and “probably” Atlanta Braves second baseman Marcus Giles. A number of former Demopolis players and coaches will also be on hand to help participants work on their baseball skills in advance of the 2006 season.

“We’re going to have another good lineup,” says Moody. “What we want is that when the kids go home at 12 o’clock, they can tell their parents they know something they didn’t know when they got there that morning. We want them to be able to do something better than they did before, to elevate their game.”

The camp is expected to draw more than a hundred participants, and hopefully, Moody says, they can welcome a few more than that.

“We’d like to have two hundred,” he says, “but we shoot for a hundred. It’s a manageable number.”

The camp will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Moody wished to thank Toxey Haas of Mossy Oak and Chris Hawley of Mossy Oak Properties, the camp’s corporate sponsors, for their support of the event.

“This can’t be done without them,” Moody says, adding that the players coaching at the camp will spend several days before hand hunting in the area. “They’re real instrumental in bringing things together. It’s the finest hunting in West Alabama and they’re a big part of our camp.”

The great majority of the camp’s organizing and supervising duties fall to Moody, but it’s a labor of love.

“I’ve always felt like it’s important to give something back,” he says. “Athletics and baseball in particular have been so good for me, and I just want to help give kids the same opportunity I had … we’re trying to build better baseball in Demopolis.”

Cost for the camp is $30 per participant. Campers will need to bring a pair of tennis shoes in case of rain and the camp is moved inside. Applications will be available next week at DHS and Omni Sports. For more information, contact James Moody at Demopolis High, 289-0294.