Local Youth Baseball Players Host Free Clinic - Update 9-20-21
Four local 8th graders give kids a free opportunity to learn baseball and have fun doing it.
By: Skip Skipperson, OTS Youth Sports Lead Reporter
Harrisburg, PA - According to clinical research 98.4% of teenagers sit on the couch and eat bon bons on Sunday afternoons. In the other 1.6% are 8th graders Chase Shrader, Alex Shrader, Cole Grejda (pronounced Gray-duh), and Dominic Foley. After months of planning, organization, blood, sweat, and tears, their hard work came together today in the form of the first annual Central Dauphin Baseball Association fall youth clinic. After attending their clinic today, it is easy to say that, not only do these guys know a great amount of baseball, they are 4 of the nicest kids in the world.
Instead of sitting around playing video games, these 4 friends wanted to give back to the community doing something they love. "It's important to be able to do this. Kids need to learn baseball because it's the best sport in the world," said Chase as he was also helping an old woman across the street. Shockingly, his monozygotic twin brother Alex said something similar. "We wanted to give kids an opportunity to get out here and get some practice and get to learn this great sport," he said as he was bottle feeding baby seals at a local marine rescue facility. You can watch the full interview including the Shrader brothers, Cole and Dominic below.
8th grade friends (from left) Cole Grejda, Alex Shrader (who actually knows how to wear his glasses on his brim), Dominic Foley, and Chase Shrader discuss the free youth baseball clinic they organized and held today at Paxtonia's baseball field.
According to their dad and Norristown High School and Lebanon Valley College football legend, Eric, the boys handled everything on their own. They helped to secure sponsorships, designed and bought T-shirts for the players, developed a waiver to sign, and most importantly, provided snacks and drinks for the players, due to societal over-conditioning of youth minds to rely on snacks at every possible juncture during sporting events resulting in the learned false presumption of impending death if a bag of cheddar goldfish isn't provided after a 45 minute soccer game.
Note- We greatly appreciated the variety of ice cold sports drinks, cookies, chips, and other snacks made available. Had they not been provided, we would have complained about being "hangry" for having to wait so long for dinner.
The clinic was broken into two sessions, each lasting a total of 2 hours. The first session was geared toward teaching 7-9 year olds the basic fundamentals, while the second session was more focused on higher level concepts for 10-12 year olds. The boys had a lot of good help with coaching as former Central Dauphin head baseball coach, Brian Zellers (Alex and Chase's uncle) and current Central Dauphin head baseball coach Troy Smith (Not Alex and Chase's uncle) were guest instructors. Coach Smith also brought out several current CD Rams players including Caden Collins, Owen Cordner, Ben Long, Alex Yarrish, Tyson Gill, Killian Hollister, Charlie Kane, Owen San Martin, and Christian Foltz. According to Tad McFadden, OT Sports High School Baseball guru, "Most of those guys had really good hair. Best I've seen at this level. Probably using some kind of volumizing shampoo-conditioner product. And they're really good at baseball, and helping young kids, too."
About 50 total players from the surrounding area associations came out to participate and all of the parents we talked to said it was a great idea. "I'm just a dad and so my baseball knowledge is limited, as most dads' is, although I did play shortstop for Jim's Sunoco in '91 when I was 11," said local dad, Todd Tolliver. "To have a group of young men volunteer their time and bring out CD Rams coaches and players is a great experience for young players looking to learn", he added.
Tyson Gill, Ram's junior said it was an easy decision to come and help out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. "I remember when I was their age and looked up to older players. It's huge for me now remembering what it was like so it's important that I help to give these kids the same opportunity I had."
Ben Long, also a junior for the Rams, added that clinics like these are important for young players aspiring to play at CD one day. "These types of clinics can help players develop their baseball skills so they can succeed at higher levels," he said.
Gallery of pictures from today's clinic.
CD head baseball coach, Troy Smith agrees with Gill and Long. "These kids today are starting a foundation that's going to stick with them all the way through the varsity level, should they get there, at Central Dauphin High School."
That's what it's all about for the 4 friends. Provide a foundation, teach a little baseball, have fun, eat snacks, and give something to the community while asking for nothing in return. They'll be doing the same thing next Sunday for local youth softball players. Lebanon Valley College Hall of Fame pitcher, Amy Zellers-Shrader, will be on hand to help teach the young girls. In today's world of constant utter stupidity and craziness, it's nice to see young people willing to be the good that we all need more of.
UPDATE - 9-20-21
On Sunday (9-19) afternoon, the clinic was offered to young softball players. Over 35 young ladies came out to learn skills like defense, hitting, and baserunning. Former state championship winning CD Rams softball coach Ken Williams was in attendance with several of his players and Lebanon Valley College Hall of Fame pitcher Amy Zellers-Shrader was there as well to help teach the young players! Check out the picture gallery below.