Young ball players sharpen skills at camp

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Young girls learn how to pitch at a fastball camp Aug. 7-8 in High Prairie. Standing left-right are, Kamryn Bissell, 10, of Spirit River, Jewel Cunningham, 12, of Peavine, Tamara Cunningham, 16, of Peavine, instructor Sarah Opheim, Brynn Amyotte, 12, of High Prairie, and Elise Ferguson, 13, of Valleyview.

A little wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of young ball players at a fastball and baseball camp Aug. 7-8 in High Prairie.

Sarah Opheim, of Sucker Creek, instructed fastball to girls and her husband Nolan Opheim taught baseball skills to the boys at Jaycee Park.

“The camp was a lot of fun while growing the game,” says Sarah Opheim, who plays college fastball for the McCook Indians at McCook Community College in McCook, Nebraska as a pitcher, outfielder and designated hitter.

“We taught the kids fundamentals of the game and made sure to keep them entertained with fun games in between drills and learning.”

Nolan Opheim played baseball at McCook Community College as a catcher. The camp attracted 13 young players although 20 signed up, Sarah Opheim says.

“Some kids did have a chance to go to provincials or had last-minute change of plans, which happened the same weekend of the camp and led to lower numbers then what we were expecting,” say Sarah, who hoped to have 20 players participate.

Another instructor was her sister Camryn Willier, who plays Division 1 fastball at the College of Southern Idaho as a catcher. Low numbers was positive for everyone at the camp.

“It was a great opportunity for the kids to get a lot of information,” Opheim says.

“Some kids had so much fun the first day, they brought a friend on Sunday.”

Fun was the name of the game.

“As a coach, I rate success on how much the kids are having fun,” Opheim says. “If they are having fun, it’s an amazing environment for the kids to learn and for the coaches to teach.

“We want the athletes to have fun with sport.

“If it’s not fun anymore, it’s not a game.”

She says the camp is also about more than sports.

“As a coach, you not only teach your sport but you are a mentor for the younger generations,” Opheim says.

“Although only 13 of 20 showed up, we are still very happy that we were able to make a difference and create a fun environment where the kids can grow confidence in themselves and feel like they matter.

“Sports not only teach about athletics, they also grow you into the person you will become one day.”

Youth were excited to participate and asked about a camp next year.

Opheim says they plan to organize another fastball and baseball camp next summer.

She is creating her own online baseball/fastball academy called Hitlogic Online Baseball/Fastball Academy.

Young boys learn how to hold the bat at a baseball camp Aug. 7-8 in High Prairie. Standing left-right, are Brody Cunningham, 10, of Peavine, instructor Nolan Opheim, and Gavin Cunningham, 10, of Peavine.

Share this post

Post Comment