LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Around 100 high school baseball players from all over Texas were in Lufkin Monday for an evaluation camp held by the Angelina College baseball coaching staff.
“It is very valuable because we only got one district game. That wasn’t enough to get scouts or college coaches out there.”}
In a year like 2020 where high school students lost their season due to the COVID-19 pandemic these camps are more valuable than ever before.
“We all got cheated,” head coach Jeff Livin said. “We could cry about it but these guys really go their dreams taken away from them. If I was put in their case I would want you to look at me and say, ‘Hey you are good enough or I’d be a lot better going through life knowing that guy I kind of respect says I am not good enough; I can live with that. You don’t have to live with that what if. We want to give everyone an opportunity at these two camps to be seen, evaluated and either put some closure to it or open up an opportunity. "
With recruiting limited, the school also is getting a chance to see players in person.
“These camps are always valuable to our coaching staff,” Livin said. “It lets us get these guys on campus to see what we have. A lot of these guys are from Dallas and Houston. They don’t know that East Texas has this stuff. It is good to have them out here.”
One of the young catchers at the event was Lufkin’s Charlie Deaton. Deaton is preparing fr his sophomore season. With time to grow he took in all the advice from the coaches as he looks to improve his game in the coming seasons.
“Playing against competition with guys that are graduating seniors and soon to be seniors, I think it is going to give me an edge playing with higher competition,” Deaton said.
Between playing and coaching, Livin has over four decades of experience. His advice for those in attendance was not to get upset at a low evaluation score but to look at it and now what to go work on. He also told them that their game should look solid but also effortless.
“[Their advice] is like gold,” Huntington catcher Judah Gallups said. “They have been in the game. They have seen more than I could see. Listening to them is the one of the only ways I succeed and get to the next level. “
Livin and his staff will hold one more evaluation camp on Wednesday. Due to weather concerns the location has not been finalized.
Camp information from Angelina College:
In order to adhere to current social distancing guidelines because of COVID-19 concerns, the sessions will split into two separate sessions each day. Session 1 will begin at 9 a.m. and will be for pitchers and catchers only, while Session 2 will take place beginning at 11 a.m. for infielders and outfielders.
The camps will focus on skill evaluation only; there will be no game. Staff will grade on running, arm strength, fielding, hitting and power. Pitchers will throw brief bullpens in order to grade pitches and velocity.
The cost of the camp is $40 to cover administration fees. The cost for those who wish to attend both daily sessions is $60. Registration for each session will begin 45 minutes prior to the sessions’ starting times and will take place at the ballpark gate. Fees are cash only.
For further information, contact the AC baseball staff at (936) 633-5367