Triplicate Sports Editor
Humboldt Crabs player Ben Langridge was all smiles as he congratulated 9-year-old Christopher Berry for making a nice play during a baseball scrimmage.
andquot;Good job spider,andquot; he told Christopher, as he gave him a high-five at the Humboldt Crabs Youth Camp at Del Norte High School on Tuesday.
Langridge said he has come up with nicknames for all the kids who are participating in the camp. Christopher was given the nickname of 'spider' when Langridge saw him playing with a spider that was crawling on his arm the first day of camp
This is the third straight year that Langridge, from San Mateo, a pitcher who just finished his senior year at Oklahoma City University, has participated in the camp in Crescent City.
andquot;I love it,andquot; he said. andquot;We want to make sure they learn the basics,andquot; adding they teach the kids at the camp the fundamentals - from the right stance when they hit, to keeping their gloves down.
The camp, which began Monday and ends today, has 17 children ages 7 to 14 participating.
Head Coach Robin Guiver and three players from the Crabs have spent time working with the children on their baseball skills, giving them a chance to learn from those with experience at a high level of baseball.
The Crabs team consists of college-age ballplayers, the majority of whom play for a division one NCAA program.
andquot;It's been going really wellandquot; Guiver said about the camp. andquot;Everyone's having a good time.andquot;
Guiver said it's a great opportunity for the young ballplayers to work with players they look up to when they watch Crabs games, and to learn from them.
andquot;They get to see what they do on the ball field and how they carry themselves,andquot; he said.
And the Crabs players get a chance to dispense their knowledge and hone their coaching skills by working with a group of enthusiastic pupils.
andquot;They have a blast,andquot; Guiver said of the players. andquot;It bring out the kid in them.andquot;
Also, it's a way for the players to earn a little extra money, he said.
For Josh Barriga, 12, of Crescent City, participating in the camp has been a positive experience.
Next year, he hopes to join the local Babe Ruth league and said the camp is a good way to work on and perfect his baseball skills.
andquot;They teach us how to hold the ball and to do everything the right way, so you can learn how to master these skills,andquot; he said. Zack Horner, 10, of Crescent City said the camp is a good way to play a sport he enjoys in the summer. He also takes part in basketball and football.
While Horner has played a number of positions, he said he has enjoyed being a pitcher the most.
andquot;I like to throw strikes and get people out,andquot; he said.
The Crabs' camps are held throughout Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. The camps are being held in locations such as Eureka, Arcata and Fortuna.
This year, the Crabs, who are based in Aracta, are having a good season so far, holding onto a mark of 34-9 heading into a Wednesday evening contest against Redding.
Starting on Friday and ending on Sunday, they will face in Arcata what Guiver said is one of the better teams in the region, the Maxin Yankees, who are based in San Jose.
For more information on the Humboldt Crabs, go to the team's Webpage at www.humboldtcrabs.com.