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Former UGA coach conducts RH baseball camp
Richmond Hill resident Tyler Leopold takes a swing during the Robert Sapp Baseball Camp last week. - photo by Mindy Boyete

The 28th Annual Robert Sapp Baseball Camp made its first ever Bryan County appearance with at the Richmond Hill Recreation Park from June 30-July 3. Sixty kids ages 7-14 came out to learn some fundamental baseball skills.

Sapp, famed former head coach of UGA and Middle Georgia College and University, takes his camp across the state each summer with stops in areas such as Dublin, Augusta, Brunswick, St. Simons and Warner Robbins. Sapp said the Richmond Hill stop was a success, and he hopes to return next summer.

"First off, we were blessed with wonderful weather," Sapp said. "I was very pleased with the Richmond Hill group. Their athleticism and willingness to learn bodes well for their futures in baseball."

Past camp attendees include St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Jeff Francoeur of the Atlanta Braves. Sapp said he is hopeful that some of the kids at the Richmond Hill camp will go on to enjoy similar success, and the potential is there.

Attendees included not only Richmond Hill residents, but also kids from Pembroke, Midway and Savannah. The camp featured baseball fundamentals, game competitions, videos, motivational and instructional lectures and demonstrations.

"I’m not just in the camp business to make money," Sapp said. "I hope to improve youth baseball programs – and eventually high school programs - across the state."

Here is a rundown from Sapp of the top participants in each age group at this year’s Richmond Hill camp:

- Youngest group. Hitting: 1. Jayce Warrren, 2. Lance Longrear, 3. (tie) Robby Sanderlin and Brandon Schwier. Pitching: 1. Brandt Smith, 2. Chase Warren, 3. Ben Griffin. Bunting: 1. Tyler Pelkey, 2. Tyler Feehan, 3. Jacob Sanderlin. Fielding: 1. (tie) Logan Merry and Branden Sorge. 2. Brett Kramer, 3. Caleb Jordan. Baserunning: 1. Jackson Bixler, 2. Jarrett Karnibad, 3. Brian Arendes. Hustle Award: (tie) Jacob Wigand and Garrett Hess. Most Improved: (tie) Michael Winston and Jon Ranieri.

- Middle age group. Hitting: 1. Tyler Harrison, 2. Tyler Leopold, 3. Kip Gibson. Fielding: 1. Kasey Green, 2. Justin Luedeck, 3. Grayson Padgett. Pitching: 1. Tripp Longgrear, 2. Matthew Robertson, 3. Jeb Boyette. Bunting: Evan Blasy, 2. Nathan Woods, 3. Cody Jarrell. Baserunning: 1. Justin Luedecking, 2. Grant Wilson, 3. Kasey Green. Most Improved: (tie) Kip Gibson and Tyler Harrison. Hustle Award: (tie) Josh Jordan and Mathew Robertson.

- Oldest group. Hitting: 1. Blake Wilson, 2. Jake Lee, 3. Carter Beauchamp. Pitching: 1. Morgan Crean, 2. Cameron Riley, 3. Trey Kramer. Bunting: 1. Joseph Smith, 2. Prescott Winn, 3. Jay Wadeson. Fielding: 1. Zackery Porter, 2. Hunter Jackson, 3. Chad Castle. Baserunning: 1. Zachary Boucher, 2. Coby Royal, 3. Zachary Haines. Hustle Award: Jacob Sutton. Most Improved: (tie) Jeremy Scott and Rodney Pack.

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