Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

June 13, 2013

Developing young talent key goal of Tribe baseball camp

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville High School varsity baseball team showed marked improvement this past season in head coach Mike Eckles' first season in charge of the Tribe diamond boys.

Eckles realizes the key to success at the varsity level is in properly developing the town's young baseball talent and Eckles and JHS assistant coaches Steve Taylor and Jay Brashear have been working hard with about 20 or so of those youth players this week during the Jacksonville Baseball Camp, which will conclude Friday with what should be a fun and exciting scrimmage game.

“The base and the strength of our baseball program is developing our young kids,” Eckles said. “So we are spending a lot of time with these guys this week and we will continue to watch them in their games all season long. We feel that Jacksonville baseball is on the rise and it all starts with these young kids.”

The camp has been emphasizing the fundamentals of baseball (how to properly throw a ball, how to correct catch a ball, basic hitting techniques, etc) and team defense which is designed to assist the campers in playing well together once on the diamond.

Today's menu calls for a skills evaluation day, with a scrimmage slated for tomorrow, the camp's closing day.

“Camp also allows these kids to see that the coaches are people too and it's important that the kids not be afraid to talk to us,” Eckles said. “It's important that they want to be around us.”

Playing baseball on a summertime morning is nearly always a ton of fun for kids, but in the case of the Jacksonville Baseball Camp, its not just the little ones having a baseball blast.

“We have some great kids who have come out here eager to learn, so it's been great fun for us coaches,” Eckles said.