Calera Baseball Camp invites local kids to learn game

Published 8:49 am Thursday, June 27, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

CALERA – The Calera Eagles spread the game of baseball to the next generation with the Calera Baseball Camp from June 25-27 at the Eagle Sports Complex.

Throughout the three-day camp which welcomed about 35 kids from around the Calera area to the fields where the Calera Eagles work on their craft, campers learned a variety of skills to help grow their baseball skillset.

Calera head baseball coach Joe Sparacino likes to mix some fun into their usual drills with games and more enjoyable ways to improve at baseball.

“We’re doing basic fundamentals, doing infield drills, outfield drills, throwing, pitching, hitting, base running, and then we’ll factor that in and let them compete and play some games, then we’re going to end the week and have a little fun, bring out a little water slide, let them practice sliding and have a little fun with the water,” Sparacino said.

The Eagles welcomed kids from the ages of five to 12 to the camp with this year’s group leaning more towards the eight to 12 range.

Sparacino enjoys welcoming younger kids to the camp to expose them to the game at an early age.

“We start with a little bit younger than I know some do, but we like to get them in there and let them come out and work,” Sparacino said.

The three-year head coach for the Eagles was joined by three of his assistants in Alex Campbell, Matt Robertson and Pat Hamrick, the latter of whom was a Hall of Fame head coach at Thompson before joining Sparacino’s staff.

In addition, multiple players came out and assisted with the camp. For Sparacino, it’s a chance to see his team teach the lessons they’ve learned from the coaches to the next generation.

“It’s a little different,” Sparacino said. “We’re out there at practice and us coaches, we teach our players the game but then you really get a different perspective when they get an opportunity to kind of flip it around and teach the younger ones.”

Sparacino believes that a camp like this is crucial to developing their program. While kids come from outside the city and Shelby County, he hopes that the kids from Calera will take these skills and keep developing to the point where someday they can put on the Eagles uniform.

“I think it’s just getting into the parks and now, especially with travel ball and all that just giving back to the young ones that you hope to develop and one day be able to see them at the middle school and high school level,” Sparacino said.