CHULA — Monday was a day for introductions at Tiftarea Academy.

The Lady Panthers softball camp opened shop for the first of four days, so head coach Chance Benson was introducing them to drills. Some athletes were learning each other. Most are from Tiftarea, but some came in from out-of-town.

This is Benson’s first softball camp at the school. He is not only teaching players;, he’s getting to know them as well.

Earlier this season, Benson took over the reins of the Tiftarea softball program. He was deep into baseball season at that time and this camp is his first real opportunity to talk with them. Players had been at least familiar with Benson from his role as a physical education teacher and coach at Tiftarea.

Nearly everyone on the roster is assisting with the camp, including a player who just transferred from another county’s school system.

“They gotta get used to me,” said Benson.

The coach said the players were mostly quiet when camp started Monday morning. Before the morning was done, the ice was seemingly well thawed.

Benson will be assisted this year by Cindy Harbort and Carrie Phillips. Both have worked with Tiftarea athletes before, but none of the three were with the team a year ago.

Approximately 40 kids were in camp Monday morning. Benson divided them into groups based on age. Lady Panthers players and coaches spread them all over the softball field, with some working on the nearby baseball field.

The softball camp is structured similarly to last week’s baseball camp, Benson said. Campers worked on infield, outfield, catching and hitting drills. Activities wrap Thursday.

As for his high school crew, Benson said individual workouts begin next week.

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