Plant City High School’s baseball players got to experience a day in the life of a coach on Feb. 9 when the team hosted its annual Plant City Little League camp.
The skills camp, held at Mike Sansone Park, brought roughly 90 boys and girls to Field 3 in the morning for several hours of learning skills and drills for all positions on the field. Raiders head coach Mike Fryrear and the team staff also held a clinic for PCLL coaches and spoke to parents about what to expect.
“It’s a great opportunity to be out here and give back to our Little League and our community,” Fryrear said. “The three things we preach are family, academics and baseball. This is our family, this community, and it’s been awesome.”
The PCHS players taught the boys and girls of PCLL — which Fryrear called one of the youngest groups he’s had at Sansone Park over the years — proper fielding techniques, covering the “triangle” stance and “pop-and-hop” defensive work and set-flex-throw arm mechanics. They covered outfield routes and hand-eye coordination when catching the long balls and how to be an effective backstop at the plate. Several hitting stations were set up with PCHS players and Little Leaguers hitting in soft-toss drills, and the younger ones got to hit curveballs thrown by a machine. Fryrear believes the curveball shouldn’t be taught to kids until they’re at least age 13 for arm health reasons, but also that it doesn’t hurt to learn how to hit the breaking balls ahead of time.
“When you teach them at a young age, it’s going to be a lot easier to hit a baseball or a softball (later),” Fryrear said.
The Raiders will continue to host the annual camp going forward and are hoping to be able to take it to their home field at 1 Raider Place in 2020.