ANNA – Anna head baseball coach Joey Hector welcomed a good crowd of kids to annual baseball camp on Monday, June 4, at the Anna Sports Complex. And though the ensuing three mornings of training and fun were jostled some by rainy weather, a full schedule was accomplished. This year’s event was offered to campers as young as 5 years old through incoming 9th-graders.
“We’ve got about 75 kids,” Hector said on Day 3, “which actually is down compared to the last two years. But the quality of kid we have out here, it’s a good quality. The kids seem like they want to learn and they’re excited about baseball.
“It just seems like they’re very attentive. … We’ve had some success here in the last six years and I think they understand that. They know they’ve got to come in ready to go as freshmen. My older class, the incoming 9th-graders, they’re doing a really good job out here.”
This was Hector’s 23rd camp overall and his sixth since arriving at Anna.
Over the course of instruction, the kids learned proper techniques and terminology involved with America’s national pastime. Throwing, hitting and catching received particular attention at various times, with campers divided into groups based on age and skill level. Monday morning’s storms moved activities into the AHS gym for a time where work was completed on throwing and infield fundamentals. Tuesday’s rain caused only a brief delay in the start time.
Hector said he recently recalled with his wife that their son Rawley, an incoming sophomore pitcher and shortstop for the Coyotes — and a Texas A&M commit — started going to camps like this at age two. And it’s not lost on Hector that among these kids now may be a player who’ll one day make the big leagues. “I was reading off the [MLB] draft stuff to them,” he said, “talking about the money these kids are making these days, and they’re like, ‘We can’t ever make it.’ I said, ‘You don’t ever know who the next one’s going to be.’… These kids, they have no idea how far they’re going to come in the next 15 years.”
Assisting with camp were Anna varsity assistant coaches Jorge Rubio and Jimmy Patterson, as well as former Coyote player and 2016 graduate Gage Scribner, who just finished up his sophomore year at Richland College. “This group has definitely done a very good job of staying focused all week,” he said, “especially with the weather. Even the younger kids have been staying focused all week.”