Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Camp participants Ian Herron, 13, left, Shannon Hamilton, 12, Ace Altuzar, 6, and Christian Cunningham, 12, celebrate beside the Georgia Gwinnett College head baseball coach Brad Stromdahl during the GGC youth baseball camp at Bethesda Park in Lawrenceville on Wednesday. The two day camp is held on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Still nearly a year away from playing an official game for local fans, the Georgia Gwinnett College baseball program began a different sort of community outreach on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies, preparing for their first year of intercollegiate athletics in 2012-13, hosted the first of what will be many sports camps for local youngsters at Bethesda Park. Camps in other sports are on the way, but baseball got things rolling this week.
"I am very excited to start our summer baseball camps," said GGC head baseball coach Brad Stromdahl, who was previously an assistant at Georgia State. "It's great to get involved and be out in the community. It will be a good experience for the kids and let the community know we have a team."
Stromdahl and his staff plan to schedule more camps and clinics throughout the summer with the goals of training young players and making a mark in Gwinnett. Much of the coach's recruiting base will be in the college's home county, so the camps could eventually help in that regard.
"I definitely think it will help us with our future recruiting," Stromdahl said. "Kids who will be coming out of high school (in the future) will know about us and hopefully see us as a place to continue playing baseball."
Stromdahl's coaching staff was assisted in the Wednesday camp by players with experience in college and professional baseball.
The event was the latest step of many when it comes to starting a first-year program. The coaches had to put everything in place, from uniforms to schedules to the first team. It's a challenge, but one the first-year head coach relishes.
"I was first approached by (GGC athletic director Darin Wilson) last October about coaching for GGC," Stromdahl said. "I am excited to have the opportunity to start a baseball program and athletic department from scratch."
Stromdahl even helped with the construction of his camps' website at www.grizzlybaseballcamps.com. Young players interested in GGC's camps later this summer can check for updates there or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on all of GGC's athletic programs, including baseball, can be found at www.grizzlyathletics.com, the Grizzlies' new athletics website.