The Dawson County High School Lady Tigers softball team led a summer camp for girls this week to raise funds for the year as well as teach prospective players in kindergarten through eighth grade the fundamentals of the sport.
The high school team helped the younger girls develop their softball skills during the camp that ran from 9 a.mm. to noon, July 24-26.
High school coach Jimmy Pruett said that there were 38 participants at the camp, which was held last year for the first time in a number of years.
"It's worked out well the past two years, we've had really great numbers, the girls really seem engaged in what they're doing, and the high school girls that help with the camp really enjoy it," Pruett said. "It's a good time. The campers are getting a lot out of it."
The girls were divided into groups based on their age and worked on different skills during the three-day camp.
On the first day, a group of girls under the instruction of high school players as well as volunteer coaches practiced their fielding positions in the infield.
In the outfield, girls aged six through nine played a game of capture the flag with varsity pitcher Maggie Schandera and junior varsity pitcher Carly Lamb.
The two teams, who called themselves the "Diamond Queens" and the "Crusaders" strategized and huddled before sprinting off to tag competitors before they could get away with stealing their softballs.
Pruett worked with the 11 to 13-year-old group in the batting cages. He took the group inside the field house at the end of their exercise for a talk.
Pruett asked the 12 girls in the group if they would be trying out for the middle school team on July 27 and 28.
Most raised their hands.
"This camp is actually was at a good time for ya'll, to get you a little work before your try-outs," he said. "I really appreciate you girls coming because I'm telling you...the ninth graders this year, the girls that come to the camp last year, I think it really helped them. It gives us high school coaches an opportunity to see you, basically, and see your talent level. The future's good here in softball."
Pruett also asked how many planned on playing high school softball.
All raised their hands.
In the end campers received t-shirts and left with a better working knowledge of the game.
The camp is not the only fundraiser that the team will have this year: On July 27, the team will play a scrimmage game at 6:30 p.m. and will host its second annual barbeque with meals sponsored by the Dawsonville Tavern.
Tickets for the BBQ are sold out.
Entrance to the scrimmage is $5 a person.
The Lady Tigers first game will be Aug. 5.