ANTIOCH -- The Antioch Sports Legends is sponsoring a girls softball clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday featuring former Antioch High softball star Debbie Nelson.
The cost is $30, and registration will be taken at the clinic at the Antioch Sports Complex. Campers ages 8-18 will receive instruction, a T-shirt and a barbecue after the clinic.
The clinic is an offshoot of the Antioch Sports Legends, a sports Hall of Fame within the Antioch Historical Society Museum. Outstanding athletes from Antioch have been inducted into the Hall for the past seven years.
Several members of the Hall of Fame have wanted to find a way to give back to the community, according to Sports Legends alumni liaison Dave Sanderson.
"There's a lot of them who have strong feelings; they are grateful for their recognition," Sanderson said. "About a year ago, several of the alumni said, 'We've got enough folks here to get something going here, let's give something back.' "
Up stepped Debbie Nelson, Antioch High School Class of 1983, 2009 Hall of Fame inductee and former head softball coach at Sacramento State and San Jose State. Nelson, through her company All American Sports Academy and as the director of Nike softball camps, has been coaching kids and running clinics for years.
"We were just trying to reach out and give back to the softball community," Nelson said. "Provide an opportunity to the kids to not only have a little fun but to build
Nelson was a highly decorated three-sport athlete at Antioch. She played volleyball, basketball and softball and earned all-league honors in all three sports. She was named the East Bay female athlete of the year.
A center fielder and a second baseman, she played two years at Sacramento City College and two years at Sacramento State.
Nelson said the camp will be divided into groups for serious players and more recreational players. It will cover defensive skills, offensive skills, position play, baserunning and sliding. Michelle Gromacki will conduct a recruiting workshop for players who hope to play in college.
Others staffing the clinic include Sue Cardinale, Stacie Del Chairo, Karen Nelson (younger sister of Debbie), Tracy McCush and Rachelle Manning. Debbie Nelson said that any other Antioch High School alumni who want to help out can contact her at 209-612-8984.
"We'd love to have them join us for the day," Nelson said.
The clinic is one of several events coming up for the Antioch Sports Legends. This year's Hall of Fame class will be announced at the end of the month. A golf tournament will be held Oct. 12 at Lone Tree Golf Course, and the next night is the annual induction dinner.
The dinner usually sells out, but the golf tournament will be open to the public. People interested in attending can contact Sanderson at 925-437-8803 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sanderson founded the Antioch Sports Legends along with Tom Menasco, Eddie Beaudine, Leo Fontana and Jim Boccio Sr. They raised $250,000 to convert the basement of the Antioch Historical Society Museum into a Hall of Fame.
"We worked for about 2½ years to work from scratch," Sanderson said. "It's been a really rewarding opportunity to make something happen."