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Baseball camp set for Saturday

The Demopolis High School baseball team will have the unofficial start to its season Saturday when it hosts its annual youth baseball camp and hit-a-thon. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with the team’s instructional camp, an event that is scheduled to last until noon.

“Any kids that want to come the day of the camp, that’s fine,” Demopolis head baseball coach Ben Ramer said. “It starts at 9 a.m. We’ve got registration at 8:30.”

The event already has approximately 150 children registered to participate. The event carries a fee of $25 and is open to players aged 5-12. Campers will receive three hours of instruction by Demopolis High baseball players, a t-shirt and a pizza party.

“Most of the time, our kids are in a position of being coached,” Ramer said.

“And we’re kind of flipping it on them and putting them in a position to teach the right way to hit an outside pitch or the proper way to execute a sacrifice bunt. I would think it gives them a better appreciation of what we’re trying to get them to do.”

The camp has seen considerable success over the last few years, a trend Ramer expects to continue this year.

“We’ve had anywhere from 115-140 (participants) the last couple years and I think this year we are going to see that,” Ramer said.

The camp will run until noon before breaking for the scheduled pizza party. DHS players will return to the field at 1 p.m. when they will start their annual hit-a-thon.

“We want to invite everybody out to the hit-a-thon,” Ramer said. “We’re going to have a concession stand open.”

In the hit-a-thon, players obtain commitments from community supporters who offer a set amount of money per foot for an individual player’s longest hit of the day.

“All of it is (big for the program). The camp helps us a lot. The hit-a-thon helps us a lot. Right now with the situation the schools are in with proration, it’s hard for the city schools to help us out with the baseball budget or any sports budget,” Ramer said. “Th parents and the local merchants and the businesses really get behind these kids and what we’re doing. I know they probably don’t hear how much we appreciate it very (often), but we really do.”