AJHS softball hosts camp through parks and rec

Aleeya Barwick works on a drill at softball camp on June 8. (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newspapers)

Apache Junction High School softball hosted it’s annual summer camp the week of June 6 through Apache Junction Parks and Recreation. Local children were able to learn from Coach Ed Matlosz and his varsity players.

“We have covered basically every mechanic and fundamental that we can think of,” Coach Matlosz said. “We have the girls for a little over an hour and a half.”
This year is the largest camp he said.

“When I first took over the program we had four or five girls come over.” Matlosz said. “Now we’re up to 20, which is awesome.”

The camp works drills that Matlosz has learned in his time as a player as well as everyday drills that his team does.

“This one here, just teaches them safe slides, pop up slides,” Coach Matlosz said. “I actually learned this in Florida at the Denny Doyle School and to this day I remember it.”

Elexis Toro is a rising sophomore at Apache Junction High School who plays second base and pitcher for the Lady Prospectors.

“When you get older, you kind of want to help little girls enjoy the sport that you do,” Toro said. “You want people to know that you’re devoted to it. I want to show people that I love this sport.”

Toro said she has been playing since she was about 4 years old.

“I think it’s (the camp) a good way for littler girls to come find out how the sport is played when you get older and how advanced it is,” Toro said.

The camp was four days, Monday through Thursday from 8 – 9:30 a.m.

“At first it’s slow, trying to get everyone used to the drills we do at a normal basis,” Toro said. “After the week goes by we start working at the same pace and go at the drills at the same pace.”

Aleeya Barwick, 10, has participated in the camp for two years.

“I really have a passion for softball,” Aleeya said. “I have been playing for four seasons. I’m really into it and I want to keep doing it.”

Aleeya now plays pitcher, catcher and first base. But she would like to play shortstop.

“Because most of the balls are hit to shortstop and I like fielding.” she said.

Aleeya said her favorite part of participating with the camp is working with the high school players.

“They really help you. They teach you and explain. If you’re doing something wrong, they explain what you’re doing wrong,” she said. “Then they try to help you make it better.”

News Services Assistant Arianna Grainey can be reached at 623-445-2717, via e-mail at agrainey@newszap.com or on twitter at ariannagrainey

Arianna Grainey is a freelance photojournalist.

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