Major Leaguers offering instruction


Published: Monday, June 1, 2009 at 6:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 1, 2009 at 6:18 p.m.

A rare opportunity for local baseball players to get instruction from former Major Leaguers will take place June 8-12 from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day at Oak Hall.

Put together by OHS coach Rick Reichardt, himself a tremendous MLB outfielder from 1964-74, the camp is for boys and girls ages 5 and up. Other former Major Leaguers scheduled to be in attendance are pitcher Casey Cox (a former teammate of Ted Williams), pitcher Anthony Telford, infielder Herbert Perry (also a former UF/Lafayette standout) and 1964 Cy Young Award-winner Dean Chance. Chance now has a very interesting second career as the president of the International Boxing Association.

Former Gator coach Pat McMahon also is scheduled to be there, as is former Santa Fe Community College head coach Harry Tholen and former 500-win P.K. Yonge coach Bob Hawkins, among others.

The fee is $190, and that covers all five mornings. Campers are asked to bring their own gloves and appropriate baseball clothing, and the event will conclude with a 10 a.m. scrimmage Friday that is open to family and friends.

For more information, visit http://oakhall.org/home/news_item.asp?id=114&newsArea=home or email Oak Hall summer camp director Jeff Malloy at jmalloy@oakhall.org or call him at (352) 332-3609, extension 246.

KNAPP HONORED: Former Branford softball standout Katee Knapp (Class of 2005) recently had her No. 7 retired by Erskine College, a Division II program in South Carolina.

While at Erskine, Knapp rewrote the school's power records. The third baseman exited with the top single-season home run mark (14) and all-time home run record (41).

Additionally, she was a four time All-Conference-Carolinas selection, a four-time player-of-the-week award-winner, and two-time academic all-conference award-winner.

As a senior, Knapp hit .443 with 14 doubles, 14 home runs, 47 RBIs, and a .902 slugging percentage. She led the conference in home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, RBIs and total bases. She also ranked 13th in the nation in home-runs-per-game (0.33).

Knapp said in an e-mail that her desire now is to become a coach, and she is hoping someone offers her an opportunity to begin that career.

TIGER PRIDE: Union County is expected to have nine seniors on its roster in the fall, but standout juniors Lonnie Gosha (DE/TE) and Bryan Holmes (WR) also will be keys to the Tigers' future success. Gosha made a handful of tackles and had a 46-yard reception, while Holmes caught two touchdowns passes for 129 yards in UCHS' 42-6 spring game victory against visiting Hamilton County on May 26.

"We need (Gosha and Holmes) to really continue to step up like they've done," Union County coach Andrew Zow said. "They actually have a lot of potential, they are definitely future Division-I players, but I'm needing them to produce throughout the game and I'm needing them to play both sides of the ball."

That night also marked the return of coach Mike Pittman to the Hamilton County sidelines. Pittman, who is best known for guiding Suwannee to four consecutive Class 3A state championships from 1987 through 1990, was re-hired in January after a four-year hiatus following his first stint at HCHS.

"It is special, you get a guy who has won state titles that you are coaching against and you are always nervous and you know their team is going to be coached up and those guys are going to come out and they're going to hit and they're going to be physical," said Zow, who was part of three straight state titles (1994-96) as UCHS' quarterback.

"We had a (few) more athletes on the field tonight but those guys were hitting and those guys are well coached."

Zow even called former Tigers' coach Robby Pruitt, who he played for, to get some advice.

"He (Pruitt) is like, 'Look they are going to be well-coached,' " Zow said. "Everybody I talked to that has coached against coach Pittman said they are going to be well-coached and he's going to run the ball at you."

Cliff Olsen

TIDBITS: Buchholz is looking for a boys varsity assistant and junior varsity head soccer coach. Interested applicants should contact Bobcats' athletic director Steve Ellard at 352-955-6702 on weekdays. ... The North Florida Men's Lacrosse Coaches recently named Oak Hall senior Tim Kearl an Academic All-American and the Eagles' Jeff Rant as its Coach of the Year. ... Bradford track & field standout Jennifer Smyth recently signed a national letter of intent with the University of North Florida. ... Prepvolleyball.com recently named Class of 2009 Buchholz libero Nicki Meyer as a national fifth-team "Defensive Dandies" selection. The runner-up for The Sun's 2008 large-school player-of-the-year, Meyer has signed a national letter of intent with Georgia Tech and will be joining the Yellow Jackets in early August, according to her father, Urban. He added that wife Shelley already has begun making plans for multiple trips back and forth between Gainesville and Atlanta for the fall. ... Cameron Keen and Stephen Godbolt each had 6-yard touchdown runs as Dixie County edged Suwannee 14-7 in its spring game in Live Oak on May 22.

COACHES/ADs: If you haven't returned spring sports all-area ballots (coaches) and athlete of the year/scholar-athlete of the year ballots (athletic directors), please do so to sunpreps@hotmail.com or fax back to 352-338-3128, as soon as possible. If you misplaced or never received your ballot, please call 352-374-5074 to have one re-sent.

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