A summer tradition in Westlake
In what has become a summer tradition in the Westlake community, more than 200 area youth, along with 40 experienced coaches and counselors, recently converged on the grounds of the Westlake Recreation Center to participate in an activity-filled week of baseball, at the 44th annual Phil Bova Baseball Camp.
The camp, founded by Phil Bova, a respected educator, NCAA basketball official and veteran baseball instructor and clinician, who previously played in the Cleveland Indians and California Angels farm systems, is dedicated to teaching boys and girls from across Northeast Ohio the proper fundamentals of the game of baseball, along with developing important life skills, including responsibility, sportsmanship and respect for others.
Reflecting back on playing at the professional level, Bova said, “It was a great experience, but we certainly did not have camps available to us as we do today. I always wanted to give back and share my experiences. What better way than to provide a baseball camp and teach the game the proper way.”
The dedicated staff participating in this year’s camp, who offer a combined 200+ years experience in baseball, provided their knowledge and expertise to help youngsters develop and refine their skills, through both individual instruction and team competition, with emphasis on building character and teamwork as well.
At the conclusion of the five-day camp, friends and family were invited to attend an awards ceremony to honor the campers and to thank the families, staff and supporters.
Awards for outstanding performances in the categories of bunting, throwing and hitting, along with the “Ron Cereno Outstanding Camper” award, were presented to winners in each of the three age groups, ages 7-8, 9-10 and 11-14.
In the 7- and 8-year-old group, the award winners were Liam Carey (best thrower), Ryan Miller (best bunter and best hitter) and Charlie Murphy (outstanding camper).
Winners in the 9- and 10-year-old age group were Jack Degetter (best hitter), Sam Elwell (best bunter), Patrick Cousineau (best thrower) and Darren Kinder (outstanding camper).
The winners in the 11 to 14 age group were Anthony Ferchill (best bunter and outstanding camper), Joshua Jarecki (best hitter) and Dominic Ference (best thrower).
The 2017 “Man of the Year” award was also presented to Roger Andrachik, assistant principal of St. Raphael’s School in Bay Village, in recognition of his loyal support and contribution to the camp over the years.