For the last two weeks, more than 50 children, ages 5-14, have been learning basic baseball skills with the Child and Youth Services Youth Sports and Fitness Spring Youth Baseball Skills Clinic April 5-15 at Doniphan Field.
Participants learned about hitting the baseball with a bat, proper throwing technique, and catching ground and popup balls with the “alligator hand” from YSF staff — Director Patrick Shelton, Assistant Director Jason Fullen, and Fitness Specialist Mallory Barnhouse. “Our number (of participants) show that a lot of the kids are wanting to do some sports things,” Shelton said. “We’re just hoping they learn the basics and get some fitness in and just have fun.”
Parents said they appreciated the efforts of YSF to provide the clinics.
“It’s greatly appreciated,” said Maj. Rufino Farias, Command and General Staff Officer Course student. “The kids are getting antsy all around and wanting to get out and interact.”
Farias’ sons — 6-year-old Vinny, 8-year-old Mario, and 14-year-old Rufino — have been participating in the clinic.
“Baseball is my favorite sport,” said Mario Farias. “I like the bats and the balls and the gloves and catching.”
Jessica Crallie said the clinic offered her daughters — 6-year-old Addison and 8-year-old Isabelle — a sense of normalcy.
“I just want them to stay active and get some fresh air, and it gets them doing something normal that they would’ve done before COVID-19,” Crallie said. “Isabelle had been planning to do this. She was signed up for baseball … off post before COVID, but then when COVID happened it got canceled. As soon as this popped up, we signed her right up for it. Addison just wanted to do what her big sister was doing.
“(The clinic) teaches them team-building and gets them doing something with their peers,” she said.
Isabelle Crallie said she had a very specific reason why she has enjoyed the clinic. “It helps me exercise and get my steps in,” she said.
“She got a pedometer from Santa Claus,” Jessica Crallie said. “She’s obsessed with it lately.”
The next YSF Baseball Skills Clinic is 5-5:40 p.m. Monday and Wednesday for children 5-8 years old and 5-5:40 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for children 9-14 years old May 3-13 at Doniphan Field. Cost is $40; a 15 percent sibling discount is available. To enroll, visit https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil/webtrac or call 913-684-5138.
The CYS YSF Spring Start Smart Baseball Clinics for children 3-4 years old are 5-5:40 p.m. Monday and Wednesday or 5-5:40 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday April 19-29 and May 17-27 at the tennis courts behind Grant Pool. Cost is $25; a 15 percent sibling discount is available. To enroll, visit https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil/webstrac or call 913-684-5138.