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Georgia Highlands baseball coaches help area youth
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
June 19, 2013 10:47 AM | 2597 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia Highlands head baseball coach Michael Marra watches over Luke Simpson, 9, during youth camp at Hamilton Crossing Park last Wednesday morning.
Georgia Highlands head baseball coach Michael Marra watches over Luke Simpson, 9, during youth camp at Hamilton Crossing Park last Wednesday morning.
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The Georgia Highlands College baseball program hosted a Future Chargers Camp June 11-14 at Hamilton Crossings Park.

For four hours a day, head coach Michael Marra and his staff worked with the 35 boys that came to the camp, ranging from ages 5 to 13.

“Was it a success? Yes, they got a lot of repetitions in, they had fun, they got to meet new people and they got to learn from college guys,” Marra said.

While the event was good for the youth, Marra said it was a success for the baseball program as well as parents. Participants inquired about Charger merchandise and the upcoming season, he said.

Six of the Charger signees assisted the youth as well, four of whom were from Bartow County – John Hood, Camden McGill and Luke Patterson of Woodland and Ty Fowler of the Class AAA state champion Cartersville team.

The camp was originally set for June 10-13, but was rained out Monday — which led to hot and humid conditions Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Marra.

During the camp, the participants learned baseball fundamentals on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball – fielding, throwing, base running, outfield positioning, pitching, catching and hitting mechanics.

Marra said the campers were even taught how to avoid serious injuries on the occasion that they do get hit with the ball while at bat.

“At that age some kids get hit one time, they’re scared and they never want to play baseball again so we teach them how to safely get hit,” Marra said.

At the end of the camp all of the participants were given a packet and a notebook of information, a T-shirt and a “Future Chargers” ID card which allows them to get in the games for free.

While Marra is pleased with the camp turnout, he said he would like to reduce the camp to no more than three hours for the younger boys, as well as host more camps.

“We’re going to try to make a collaborative effort with Bartow County Parks and [Recreation Department] to try to do a camp over Christmas and try to do more multiple week camps during the summer…We’re trying to improve the quality of baseball in the area,” Marra said.
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