Farragut High School softball head coach David Moore first discovered the need to host a youth softball camp several years back when he found out that some players could have lacked some of the necessary fundamental skills to truly be successful in the game.
“Several years ago, I had a player who had grown up playing softball,” said Moore, who won his 600th game as the Admirals coach in 2016. “But she didn’t know how to slide.
“I was telling her to get down but she came in standing up and it cost her and cost us an out. When I asked her why she didn’t slide, she told me that she didn’t know how.”
A short time later, the FHS Youth softball Camp was born. It’s traditionally held in June (as it was in 2016) a short time after the high school post-season ends at Bellamy Field.
There, young players work under the guidance of Moore, veteran assistant coach Nick Green, longtime statistician, scorekeeper and friend of the program Ray Watson and Admirals players.
The youngsters are taught defensive fundamentals, such as fielding ground balls. They also are schooled in the areas of hitting, correct base running and all other areas of the sport of softball.
“We’ve done this for a few years now and we usually have it at the same time every year,” Moore said. “It’s good for our [former and current high school] players to teach the young kids how to play the game.
“It’s a chance for coach Green and me to teach the girls how to play the game and do things right. It’s a chance for us to go back and teach the basics of the game.”
Moore noted that this year’s camp played host to about 45 campers who ranged in age from 7 to 14.
Recent graduates Mary Claire Coyne and Niki Slone were among the players who served as coaches and instructors. Rising senior and all-state catcher Lexee Lamoree also served as a mentor to the youth softball players who attended this year’s camp.
All were thankful for their respective opportunities. For Coyne (who will play at Wingate in 2017) and Slone (who will soon head off to Chattanooga State Community College to begin her college career), it was one of their final acts as FHS softball players. Both will play in the upcoming Tennessee Softball Coaches Association’s East-West All-Star Game in Columbia June 21.
“I love being able to help [the young players],” Slone said. “I never had the opportunity to come to a camp like this.
“I’m excited that I can teach them what I know about the game. It’s great to see all these young girls excited about playing softball. It’s a great game.”
“It’s really fun to have the opportunity to give back to the game,” she said. “This helps me become a better player. It makes you better when you teach the game.
“My mom once told me that you really don’t know something until you can teach it to someone else. Today, we were going over how to field ground balls and there was something that I forgot. So I learned something today by teaching the game.”
It was also an exciting time for Lamoree.
“I fully love the camp,” she said. “I truly love softball and when I grew up, I played at CBFO but I didn’t have a camp like this when I was their age.
“I didn’t have this opportunity and these kids are excited about playing softball and I love the chance to teach this game and get them ready to play here at Farragut High School one day.”