Softball players hoping to make an impression at high school tryouts next week or just get the rust off got the opportunity to work on their skills this week at Tune-Up for Tryouts Softball Camp held in the Classical High gym.
Chris Warren, who coached the Classical High softball team for 15 years before stepping down this season, is running the camp along with Winthrop High coach David Guffey, who has been at the Viking helm for 17 years. The staff also includes former Classical High assistant coach Lauren Phelps and former Classical High/Bentley College player Afton Dean, who is the softball director at Extra Innings.
Warren left the Classical job after being named a vice principal last summer. Although he’s involved in coaching his son and daughter at the Little League level, Warren said he’s excited to have the opportunity to work with players from some of the other Northeastern Conference team.
“Coaching high school kids is something I’ll truly miss … I’m looking forward to having a week to work with them and I’m excited to have kids from different teams in the conference,” Warren said.
The camp drew 50 players with Classical, Marblehead, Swampscott, Salem and Winthrop represented. There are also some middle school girls taking part as well.
Warren said the goal is to have them ready to go when tryouts get underway on Monday. They’ll do some hitting, fielding, throwing and conditioning and they’ll get some input on what coaches will be looking for in picking their teams. Those interested in pitching have the option of staying an extra hour to get some work in.
As veteran head coaches, Warren and Guffey have impressive resumes. Warren’s teams qualified for the state tournament 10 out of the last 12 seasons and won the NEC title in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was NEC Coach of the Year four times.
Guffey is a three-time NEC Coach of the Year. His team has qualified for the state tournament for 15 consecutive years. The Vikings reached the North Finals in 2011. Guffey has been a Strike One Academy coach since 2012.