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Pats softball camp a huge success

After one of the most successful seasons in the program’s recent history, the Heritage softball team followed with a memorable offseason camp earlier this month.

Fifty-two youth softball players participated in Heritage’s second annual summer camp held at the Conyers school with plenty of current and former Patriots on hand to help out. Former standouts Callie Alford, now a rising senior at Georgia State, Kierra Camp, who just graduated and is headed to Georgia Southern in the fall, and Chandler Shepherd, who just completed her senior season at Covenant College, all were guest instructors at the camp, which ran from June 2-5.

“The highlight for me was watching my current players re-teach things that I have taught them. It was an awesome week,” said Heritage coach Jason McBay, whose team won the first region championship since 2001 last fall. “Camp this year was an absolute blast.”

Not only were former players in attendance, but former Heritage head coach Dickie Hightower, now the head man at Wesleyan College in Macon, was an instructor as well, along with McBay and Patriots’ assistant coach Duane Turner.

Campers learned a variety of things during the four-day camp, including different types of bunts, outfield footwork, hitting mechanics, defensive glove work and pitching delivery and follow-through. On the camp’s final day, campers, who were between the ages of six-and-14, played scrimmage games, had an opportunity to hit against Camp, attempted to steal bases against Alford and went through sliding practice in the outfield sprinklers.

“When you have the opportunity to give back to your community you should make the most of it,” said McBay. “Our goal for each camper (was) to be safe, to have fun and to leave camp more excited about softball than when camp began. As long as I am at Heritage we will have a summer camp.”

Three players were named campers of the week: Shelby Redding (ages 6-8), Ariel Grimwade (ages 9-11) and Robyn Lowe (ages 12-14).