Chelsea Whitcomb is one of the best softball players the Richmond area has ever seen. But her attitude off the field didn't always match her talent on the field.
"A lot of people know that I had a pretty bad attitude when I was younger" Whitcomb, who now plays at Virginia Tech said. "But I had someone like my coach, my parents and Kerri to help me."
Kerri is Kerri Cobb, the director of the All-American Fastpitch softball camp where Whitcomb is a guest instructor this week. Cobb, a New Kent native, has been a professional instructor for the last 25 years after leading the Trojans to the state title game in 1991, and becoming a three-time All-American at Christopher Newport University.
Cobb has been running this week's camp for the last 15 years, and has seen the sport grow each year. This year's camp features players from 5 different programs that made the NCAA softball tournament this year.
"These role models are great guest speakers for these kids" Cobb said of the instructors she has at this year's camp. "It's more than just softball. Once they finish their softball careers, there's so much more in life."
Cobb's camp is hosting 150 area girls ages 6 to 17. Many of them come back each year, and some, like Whitcomb may be future high school and college standouts who might come back to be instructors in the future.
"I went to a bunch of camps like this growing up, and it was a great experience" said Whitcomb who led Cosby to one state title and was a three-time all Metro player of the year. "Having Kerri growing up really changed my life."
"I know these girls are young, but having this camp is changing their views of softball and will really help them in the long run."
The camp covers all aspects of the sport, stressing fundamentals on both offense and defense. Other instructors included former Matoaca standout Jessica McCabe, now with JMU, Kaylee Carlson of Auburn, Carly Donovan (Dinwiddie) and Glen Walters (Glen Allen) from Longwood, and Maggie Balint from Oregon.
"We're able to share Christ with the kids, do team building skills, life lessons" Cobb explained. "The instructors want to come back and share what they know, because it wasn't long ago they were in these girls' shoes."
For more information: http://www.allamericanfastpitch.com