HERMITAGE – Hermitage police and Westminster College are partnering to bring a baseball workshop to Hermitage, Clark and Wheatland youths.
The workshop will be one day and go over the basic baseball skills.
“We’re going to incorporate teamwork and hustle,” said Sammy Staples, community engagement officer for Hermitage police. “We’re getting T-shirts for the event. It should be a pretty good day.”
Staples said Westminster’s coach, Pat Riley, will be bringing two to three current players and a former player from his team to run the clinic.
Instruction will cover the infield, outfield, hitting, base running and staying positive.
“We’re going to have some officers come by and help,” Staples said. “We’ll be more involved in the attitude aspect of it.”
He said he is excited for the children to see the police in a different setting.
“To see some of us helping and knowing we’re invested in the youths,” Staples said.
There is limited space available, with 15 kids being accepted between ages 8 to 10 and 15 between ages 11 to 13. Each group will have a session for half the day on June 16.
“I’ve got some great responses from the parents in getting the kids signed up,” Staples said. “I give a lot of credit to the coach. He was very willing to help out and make this happen.”
Due to limited spacing, for this clinic, only Hermitage, Clark and Wheatland residents will be accepted. Staples said if this clinic works out, they would like to be more inclusive.
“That would be the ultimate goal, but we couldn’t overwhelm the coach and his players,” Staples said. “The goal would be to make this much larger and get a basis of youth.”
Police Chief Eric Jewell said sports – like food – bring people together and part of the goal is to bond police officers with local youth.
“Sharpening old skills, learning new skills and sharing experiences on the field allows officers to engage with the community through positive encounters with our youth,” Jewell said.
He said his department is grateful to Westminster College for the time, talent and resources.
“Just maybe the one-day camp will be the impetus that enables the next Cy Young or Willie Mays or Lou Gehrig or Hank Aaron or Juan Marichal or Babe Ruth to come out of the Shenango Valley,” Jewell said.
To sign your baseball player up, contact Hermitage officer Sammy Staples at email@example.com.
Follow Melissa Klaric on Twitter and Facebook @HeraldKlaric, email: firstname.lastname@example.org