The Lady Dogs Softball Clinic was excellent.
Yes, I mean clinic, not camp. You see, the second week in July was spent teaching, encouraging, demonstrating, practicing, nurturing and role-modeling. Let me explain.
Harlem High School's new softball coach, Mike Leverett, and assistant coach Jonathan Holley assembled a staff of proven softball players with outstanding people skills to teach 30 young ladies in the art of softball. Yes, just 30 girls, divided into four age groups, were given individual instruction as they rotated through four stations of instruction. These girls, grades 3 through 8, received personal instruction from Brittany Leverett, infield and base running; Anna Cheeley; outfield and throwing, Jeni Massingale, pitching; and coach Leverett on hitting.
It was hot, but the staff provided plenty of tender love and care, water, sports drinks and shade along with their instruction. Remember, these were 8-12-year-olds. Our best teachers would have found this classroom challenging.
Let me not forget lunch. Lunch was prepared by Harlem High School supporter "Sketter" Williams, who prepared "all-you-can-eat" lunch from the grill.
Coaches Leverett and Holley understand that undoing bad habits is more difficult than learning it correctly the first time. That's why the clinic is restricted to middle school and below. Coach Leverett is hoping that some of these girls will one day be Lady Dogs at both the middle school and high school levels. Having watched these girls all week, if they end up at Harlem under Leverett's tutoring, there will be another outstanding softball program in Columbia County.
I only hope that Coach Leverett will give preference to this year's 30 participants. As the word spreads about the content of this successful softball clinic, The 2008 Lady Dogs Softball Clinic will book fast! My granddaughter is 8 years old and ready to attend next year!
Dennis M. McClendon
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