Gift Offers Ballplayer Lifelong Memory

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Jeff Swanson of the Arizona Diamondbacks called last week to say he had a Training Center scholarship to donate and wanted to know if I knew of a youth who would be interested in it.

I called local Little League coach Craig McMullen who immediately responded with the name of a boy he believed to be highly deserving.

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The Diamondbacks have offered a Training Center scholarship to a local Little League player.

"This could be a chance to give a gift to a young ballplayer that he will remember the rest of his life," McMullen said.

Swanson is in the process of calling the boy's mother to tell her of the scholarship.

Swanson and the Diamondbacks deserve a huge pat on the back for their generosity in allowing an aspiring young player to enjoy the thrill of participating in the Training Center.

The Training Center

The Training Center camp, which is open to players 6 to 12 years of age, will be held July 10 through 14 at Rumsey Park.

The baseball camp remains open is accepting applications, but the softball camp was canceled when not enough girls signed up, Swanson said.

With the cancellation of softball, girls are welcome to attend baseball.

The camp will be held each day from 8 to 11 a.m. and the registration fee is $150, which includes a Training Center hat, T-shirt, lunch cooler and two tickets to a 2006 Diamondbacks home game.

Throughout the week, the campers practice a variety of baseball skills including pitching, throwing, hitting, base running, fielding and strategy.

Camp coaches are hand-picked by the Diamondback organization and usually include high school coaches and former professional ballplayers.

Throughout the week, the coaches use a variety of games and situations to keep the practices fun and interesting. All profits benefit Diamondback charities. For more information, call (800) 821-7152 or visit www.dbacksoutreach.com.

Wrestling with the best

Longhorn wrestling coach Dave LaMotte and a celebrated staff of assistants will host a youth wrestling camp July 12 to 14 in Wilson Dome.

The clinic is free of charge to those entering grades three through nine during the next school year.

"The only thing (campers) need (to do) is to show up on time, with a pair of wrestling shoes, a T-shirt, gym shorts, a good attitude and be ready to learn," LaMotte said.

Camp sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. Campers are responsible for providing their own lunch.

On hand to assist LaMotte will be four former collegiate All-Americans, including R.C. LaHaye, Zach Lee, Matt LaMotte and Jeff LaMotte.

LaHaye and Lee, former Payson High School mat stars, earned their All-American honors at Western State in Gunnison, Colo.

Jeff and Matt LaMotte, the coach's sons, were All-Americans at West Liberty State College in West Virginia.

Jeff LaMotte also starred at Payson High School in the 1990s. Matt was a standout at Gilbert High during his prep career.

The four will assist Coach LaMotte in teaching the young wrestlers the basics involved in wrestling.

"I prefer to call it teaching the essential skills," coach LaMotte said. "We also want to build an interest (in wrestling) and have a little fun."

For more information, call (928) 474-2233.

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