Core, Spring Lake softball to host youth softball camp

Duncan MacLean • Jul 7, 2019 at 4:47 PM

Spring Lake softball won’t rest on its laurels after a third straight trip to the state quarterfinals this spring, as they gear up to host a three-day youth development camp this week at Spring Lake Middle School.

Varsity head coach Bill Core, his staff and players will run two sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for aspiring players of all skill levels. Session 1 is reserved for players entering grades five through seven and will meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Session 2 is designated for players entering grades 8 through 10 and will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The camp is open to all aspiring players, including those totally new to the small diamond — or even trekking in from across the bridge. Spring Lake residents will cost $20, while non-resident registration runs $35. Checks should be made payable to Spring Lake Recreation. Campers may register at the field before the start of Monday’s session. 

Instruction will focus on fundamental skills including throwing, hitting, and outfield infield defense with specialty work on pitching and catching included. Coach Core and his staff will be joined by current varsity players and former Lakers who have transitioned into the college game for instruction.

The camp comes in response to declining numbers in Spring Lake’s youth softball programs, despite the varsity team’s unrivaled recent success.

“We had to cut our JV program this year,” Core said. “Our middle school club team is struggling with low numbers. As a coaching staff, we the players and parents just thought it was a good idea to get something running that could bring some interest back to softball in the lower levels.”

Declining numbers are easily explained, as girls are spread thin by the wealth of competitive options at the varsity level.

“Spring is a busy time for girls sports,” Core said. “We offer five varsity sports with lacrosse, track, tennis and soccer. Those are all big-roster sports. Lacrosse is pretty hot and new right now — we’ve got 40 or 50 girls playing middle school club lacrosse right now and only 12 playing club softball.

“This is the first time we have done this. We’re just searching for answers and thought this introduction for young players would be a good idea.”

The only equipment required for the camp is a glove and shoes. Spikes or cleats are permitted. Optional equipment includes bats, facemasks and catching equipment. With more July heat in the forecast, a water bottle is strongly encouraged.

In the event of rain, July 11 will serve as a make-up day.

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