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Girls learn softball — and the chants — in Wesley Chapel

WESLEY CHAPEL

Don't forget about the chants.

It's one of those essential parts of softball. A cog, that missing, wouldn't let a player run smoothly. They're the fun-natured rhyming and repetitive shouting that's supposed to throw off the other teams. Just like the ones of being taught during instructional level of softball for Wesley Chapel Athletic Association.

The Darlings, or the 6- to 8-year-olds, learn everything from basics such as baseball running and fundamentals of playing the field.

And, of course, the chants.

"I've taught them myself," said Kelley Huelle, who used to play competitively and now coaches her daughter, Kyla, on the Cheetahs. "But also they've learned it from older girls as they have played together and then some are cheerleaders, too, and they bring it over from that."

At this age level, coaches pitch to the players, as most of the girls are still learning timing of their swings and patience at the plate. Girls this young are still developing their hand and eye coordination and learning the best way to throw overhand.

"It can be difficult (to teach them) from scratch," Huelle said. "The older ones who have played grasp it quicker, but they also help teach the younger ones when they first start."

Girls also move around to the various positions on the field. One inning a girl may be the first baseman, the next, she might be moved to left field.

Huelle says this can be confusing for the girls, but it also lets them explore the whole game, learn it and perhaps find a position they are best suited for.

But that's why they are playing this young.

"It is a nice variety, that's for sure," Huelle said. "Most every girl will play every position without complaint, but we like to see them work well anywhere we put them."

For information on softball and other sports at WCAA, visit www. wcaa.org.

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Girls learn softball — and the chants — in Wesley Chapel 03/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 9:02pm]
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