Camp to benefit unsigned seniors

Published 9:11 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

Ellwood Christian athletic director Mike Stokes is making an effort to give high school athletes another chance to get noticed by college scouts.

Nine scouts from colleges around Alabama will be at Bloch Park June 18 for a baseball and softball game between seniors and upcoming seniors in the Selma-Dallas County area. Stokes said 12 baseball players have already signed up, and he is still looking for softball players and volunteer coaches who want to be a part of the camp, which will involve several weeks of practice before the baseball and softball game.

On June 18, the baseball game will start at noon and the softball game will begin afterward. Both games will be played at Bloch Park.

Stokes has coached football at many schools in Alabama — including Southside, Dallas County, Concordia College Alabama, Thomasville and others — and he has found in many cases, especially in Selma, there is often plenty of talent across all sports that gets overlooked. He hopes the baseball and softball camp will help numerous athletes to get noticed and have a chance to play in college.

“I have seen a lot of kids put under the radar. I just want to put an end to it if I can,” Stokes said.

Stokes wants this camp to provide opportunities for high school athletes in Selma across all sports.

He is hoping the camp will attract scouts to come to Selma more often in the future.

While the camp is aimed to help upcoming seniors get an early jump on the recruiting process, Stokes said it will also be a last chance opportunity for this year’s seniors who might still be looking for that college offer.

“A lot of kids around here can’t afford to pay their way through school,” Stokes said. “Any little bit helps, even if it’s partial.”

If the baseball camp is successful, Stokes said he wants to host a football camp and basketball camp in the future. The plan is to eventually have camps year-round.

Stokes said he is more than  willing to help out the kids.

“I’ve seen kids sometimes that had the ability to go and play, but just got overlooked or some kind of way slid under the radar,” Stokes said. “Sometimes it’s the coaches’ fault and sometimes it’s the kid’s fault. I just want to give them a chance to further their education.”

For more information, call Stokes at (334) 349-9717.

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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