Although there has not been much of a winter this year, there are some signs that spring is just around the corner. For three weeks in March, more than 150 boys and girls have hit the gyms at Rye High School for winter clinics to get ready for the upcoming baseball and softball seasons.
By Lauren Dempsey
Although there has not been much of a winter this year, there are some signs that spring is just around the corner. For three weeks in March, more than 150 boys and girls have hit the gyms at Rye High School for winter clinics to get ready for the upcoming baseball and softball seasons. The clinics are a combined effort of the RHS baseball and softball programs along with Rye Little League and Rye Girls Softball. Working with the high school coaches and players, along with some of the League coaches, the children are breaking in their gloves and swinging their bats.
The clinics serve multiple purposes. First and foremost, the children learn the sport and hone their skills. Players range from first-timers who are still trying to figure out what hand to put the glove on, to middle schoolers getting ready for the Modified team tryouts. The combination of the experienced high school and league coaches teach the children in the various aspects of the game.
An added bonus is that this is supplemented with players from the high school varsity and junior varsity baseball and softball teams. The children, especially the younger ones, relate very well to the high school players, some of who are their brothers and sisters.
The children are divided into different teams by age and then are assigned a high school player as their team leader. They then participate in various activities and drills including batting practice, pitching, base running, fielding and bunting.
Another major purpose of the clinic is for the high school players themselves. They enjoy working with the younger players, knowing that they will be the ones coming up to keep their program going. Many of the high school players participated in these same clinics when they were younger while playing in Rye Little League and Rye Girls Softball. In addition, the money raised helps offset some of the costs of their trip to Florida as well as for equipment and uniforms.
Rye High School Varsity Baseball Coach, Mike Bruno, stated, “This is the tenth year for the baseball clinic. Many of the high school players participated in it when they were younger so it is great to see them give back to the Little Leaguers and helping them learn the game and get better.”