Lady Cards host Elite Camp


The Elite Softball Academy returns for its second year.

By Cory Smith - [email protected]



East Surry assistant coach Mark Mauldin helps a young camper with her form.


Cory Smith | The News

The 43 campers pose with their instructors following an intense day of softball.


Cory Smith | The News

Dayton Haynes fields a ground ball at Saturday’s Elite Softball Academy.


Cory Smith | The News

Former Cardinal and Knight Laken Bowman returned to East Surry to help with the Elite Softball Academy.


Cory Smith | The News

Madison Cook practices hitting off a tee. Cook trained in the middle school division at Saturday’s camp.


Cory Smith | The News

Campers show off their throwing arms by hurling water balloons at their instructors.


Cory Smith | The News

PILOT MOUNTAIN — In order to build an elite program, schools must provide an elite level of training.

More than 40 young women between first and eighth grade congregated to Palmer Field early Saturday morning to receive training from two elite softball programs. East Surry and Surry Community College collaborated to put on the Elite Softball Academy for the second year in a row.

The camp is meant to train the next generation of athletes that will continue the build the already impressive legacy of softball in the area. Players engaged in hitting, fielding, pitching, baserunning, and other technical drills under SCC’s Blaine Bullington and Nathan Bowman, as well as East Surry’s Randy Marion, Richard Layne, and Mark Mauldin. Current and former college players also assisted in leading drills.

Surry, Stokes, and Alleghany counties have all made their mark recently in the softball world. East Surry has finished in the top-10 ranking of 1A teams each of the past two seasons, even spending time at the top of the polls. The Lady Cards also won four straight state championships (2008-2011), the most consecutive titles of any school in the state. North Stokes finished third in 1A this season and won the state championship in 2015. Alleghany won its first softball state championship in 2018. Other local teams like North Surry and Surry Central have also sported great teams in recent years.

The second session of the camp will take place next Saturday. Although campers are encouraged to attend both sessions, it is not mandatory. This allows those unable to make the first session to participate in the second session.

After a day of work, the campers ended the session by throwing water balloons at their instructors.

East Surry assistant coach Mark Mauldin helps a young camper with her form.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DSC_0386.jpgEast Surry assistant coach Mark Mauldin helps a young camper with her form. Cory Smith | The News

The 43 campers pose with their instructors following an intense day of softball.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_team.jpgThe 43 campers pose with their instructors following an intense day of softball. Cory Smith | The News

Dayton Haynes fields a ground ball at Saturday’s Elite Softball Academy.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DSC_0557.jpgDayton Haynes fields a ground ball at Saturday’s Elite Softball Academy. Cory Smith | The News

Former Cardinal and Knight Laken Bowman returned to East Surry to help with the Elite Softball Academy.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DSC_0435.jpgFormer Cardinal and Knight Laken Bowman returned to East Surry to help with the Elite Softball Academy. Cory Smith | The News

Madison Cook practices hitting off a tee. Cook trained in the middle school division at Saturday’s camp.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DSC_0012.jpgMadison Cook practices hitting off a tee. Cook trained in the middle school division at Saturday’s camp. Cory Smith | The News

Campers show off their throwing arms by hurling water balloons at their instructors.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DSC_0607a.jpgCampers show off their throwing arms by hurling water balloons at their instructors. Cory Smith | The News
The Elite Softball Academy returns for its second year.

By Cory Smith

[email protected]

Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith

Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith

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