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Jay Powell camp give area fans opportunity

By Staff
Jan. 30, 2002
Writing words of wisdom on a Wednesday while wondering whatever happened to U.L. Washington …
It happens every year about this time.
In fact this will be the eighth time that the Jay Powell Baseball Camp will be held at West Lauderdale.
Rush has jumped on board from the beginning to provide sponsorship, and as Powell himself admits, a lot of the legwork to make the clinic a success.
The clinic offers the basic opportunities that most one-day baseball get -togethers do kids learn the mechanics of hitting, pitching and fielding.
But Powell's camp offers much more.
He's right, it really is.
The strange thing about the East Mississippi/West Alabama area is the fact that we have such people as Powell, Bud Brown, Oil Can Boyd, Jeff Branson, Marcus Dupree, Antonio McDyess, Kenyatta Walker, Kenny Smith, Derrick McKey, Scott Sullivan, Fred McAfee and Dexter McCleon who either live here or were raised here is taken for granted.
We have become so accustomed to seeing locals reach the highest level of their athletic profession, that we think every community has guys and gals who have done it.
That's just not true. Not true at all.
When you begin to toss in the guys who have played for the four junior colleges and the University of West Alabama, then the list just continues to grow.
While the camp which costs just $35 runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. does give young folks a chance to work with the pros, it also gives them a chance to find out that many of them are just regular guys like their brothers, fathers and neighbors.
One of the players coming in this year is Roy Oswalt. He stepped up big time in the pitching rotation for the Houston Astros this year and Powell says that Oswalt is his pick among young pitchers to eventually win the Cy Young.
Joining Powell, who now pitches for the Rangers, and Oswalt will be shortstop Jason Smith of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and pitchers Chad Bradford of the Oakland A's and Mickey Callaway of the Anaheim Angels. All three saw big league action last year.
Players in the minor league systems who will will helping out are Jamie Brown of the Cleveland Indians, Paul Phillips of the Kansas City Royals, Chris Reinike of the Cleveland Indians, Hank Thoms of the Cleveland Indians, Jude Voltz of the Milwaukee Brewers and Barry Wesson of the Houston Astros.
Registration is set for 8:30 a.m. on site at the WL baseball field. For more information call 703-4429.
Powell says he hopes to continue holding the camp for as long as he is playing.
So do we Jay. So do we.

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