ANNA — Anna head softball coach Lindsey Lacy welcomed nearly 30 girls to camp on Monday, June 5, at the Anna Sports Complex, a number boosted by a good walk-up turnout. The camp was open to incoming third- through ninth-grade girls and this group included a wide range of experience levels — from those just learning the game to those perhaps pushing for a Lady Coyote varsity spot next year. Anna head softball coach Lindsey Lacy said getting to know these girls is what she enjoys most about these three-day events.

“Eventually, these will be my kids at the high school or at the middle school,” she said. “It’s just really neat to get to know them, to get to know some of their personalities and what they enjoy about softball. The things that they don’t know and then seeing them know them by the end of camp — that’s neat to see.”

Assisting Lacy with instruction were Anna softball assistant coach Jaqueline Rosson and Anna Middle School coach Deidra Lujan. The campers worked on throwing and fielding techniques on Day 1, with hitting and other skills following as camp progressed. More than one girl asked on Day 1 when they could start hitting. Hitting indeed arrived, with lots of time in the batting cage on Day 3 as well as infield decision-making drills. Camp wrapped with T-shirts for participants and a group picture in the pitcher’s circle with final words from the coaches.

Lujan was asked about the overall experience.

“The best thing was just seeing them understand something, to the fullest, seeing the look on their face when they finally get it,” she said. “… The little ones seemed to be a little more energetic at times than some of the older ones. I love the variety in the ages that we get out here. It’s not just high-schoolers, it’s girls that maybe have never touched a softball. And they still had the same energy as the girls that had been around it for years. The energy levels in the little ones are probably the most fun.”

Lujan said of all the skills taught during camp, bunting appeared to be the girls’ favorite. “Some of them didn’t quite know what it was, but once we explained it and once they got it down, that seemed to be the one they felt most accomplished with.”

Jerrad Gaston had three daughters in camp, Kadence Stephens, 11, Morgan Gaston, 12, and Madison Gaston, 14. He said his girls most appreciated that the activities were organized and well-executed.

“They liked how it kept moving,” he said. “They had all the different stations so they were able to move and rotate. Everybody was doing something at all times, instead of just sitting.”

And he liked the exposure the younger kids were getting to their future environment.

“It’s great because the younger girls get to be with the older girls and the high school coaches,” he said. “They get to be involved with them so when they get older, they’ll maybe not be intimidated so much. This is great for the kids to be able to do in the summertime.”

And with this summertime just beginning, these girls strolled from the Lady Coyotes’ field on June 7 with gloves, bats, new knowledge – and lots of smiles.