CCPARD hosts annual MLB Pitch, Hit and Run

Cove Leader-Press
Nearly 60 youth participated in the 2015 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit, and Run competition Saturday at the Copperas Cove City Park. That number dwarfs the 22 that participated last year. “The 2015 MLB Pitch, Hit, and Run Event was a success,” said Joseph Pace, director of the parks and recreation department. “The increase in numbers can be attributed to having the event on the same day as the baseball and softball player’s clinic.” 13 girls and 45 boys competed in seven different age/gender groups. The MLB Pitch, Hit and Run competition, as well as the clinic, was conducted by the parks and rec staff in conjunction with the Copperas Cove high school baseball and softball teams. “The coaches and players of both the baseball and softball teams of the Copperas Cove High School did a tremendous job in working with the kids in such activities as pitching, running, fielding, and hitting,” said Pace. “The collaboration between the City of Cove Parks and Recreation Department and the Copperas Cove High School shows a commitment to the youth of the city.” Defending 7-8 year-old girls National Champion Gabrielle Emeana looks to repeat at the 9-10 level. She tied for the win with Samantha Bradley in the pitching portion and scored well enough on the hitting and running portions to earn the overall crown. Joleeanna Hair was the hitting champion and Kali Hunter was the running champ. It was a clean sweep in the 7-8 boys’ division. Owen Lord won the hitting, pitching and running portions to take the overall title. The 7-8 girls champion was Aubrey Krieger. She tied with Arayah Kirkman in both the hitting and pitching competition, but won the running portion outright to claim first place. It was a tight race in the 9-10 boys’ competition. Brayden Camese edged out Coleton Sizemore and Tony Lettieri who tied as pitching champs and running champion Boston Wybrant. Camese won the hitting portion. Josiah Key dominated the 11-12 boy’s division. He won the hitting and running championships on the way to the overall crown. Jimmy David won the pitching competition. Emma Wasiak took the 11-12 girls’ all around title. She won the hitting and running portions and tied with Callie Lord in the pitching portion. Finally, Nick Izquierdo took the 13-14 boys’ overall title by winning the hitting and running events. Miguel Montoya was the pitching champion. Although the Pitch, Hit and Run competition shows the basics of the game, it’s really not much of a learning tool as you don’t face real-game scenarios, but the clinics are very helpful in developing young players, says Pace. “The player’s clinics were an opportunity for the high school coaches to impress upon the younger players the importance of proper techniques and attitude that will hopefully serve as a foundation of their softball/baseball skills in the coming years,” he said. The seven winners of the local competition will move on to compete at the sectional competition in late May/early June and the winners of that competition will be entered into a pool where the top three scores of all sectionals in each age and gender bracket will advance to the team championship in June and the winners from there will move on to the National Finals during the MLB All-Star Week in Cincinnati, Ohio to be held July 10-14. lady would not play this season, but the parents vow to continue the fight. Youth “club” teams have pushed children to specialize in sports at much younger ages and given false expectations to parents. Several examples include: (1) There is now an under age 8 national championship in basketball. (2) A Colorado company markets a $169 test that will determine a child’s genetic predisposition to strength or endurance sports. (3) A company makes athletic training videos for 6-month-olds. As you can see, companies are making big dollars off of youth sports. With the influx of “specialized” private teams, experts say the collision of big aspirations and big money is fertile ground for lawsuits. Parents invest “big” dollars and expect a reward. Children specialize and automatically believe they are entitled to greatness. In Texas, interscholastic sports have a state governing body (UIL). The UIL has rules concerning students changing schools for athletic purposes. UIL section 443 © “A student who changes schools for athletic purposes is not eligible to compete in varsity League contest(s) at the school to which he or she moves for at least one calendar year, even if both parents move to the new school district attendance zone.” So what do you think? Do parents and children have a “right” for playing time in “club” team sports? If a parent invests in “club” sports so their child can specialize, should they be guaranteed a certain amount of playing time? When money is remunerated, people expect a reward for their investment. How about the benefits of getting to practice? How about the benefit of learning that we are not always guaranteed certain “rights” because we have paid the entrance fee. I can pay a fee to participate in a 5K run but I promise I do not expect a prize or metal. I wonder if the parents suing for playing time would expect a medal because they paid the entrance fee. Would the child want to transfer to another team that has slow distance runners, so they would have a chance to be the fastest on the new team? Thought for the week, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-- you’re right.” Henry Ford

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