‘The experience was phenomenal’ – Austin youth spends 8 days at Florida baseball camp

Published 9:40 am Friday, January 9, 2015

Teyghan Hovland spent his winter break playing baseball down in Florida for eight days.  Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Teyghan Hovland spent his winter break playing baseball down in Florida for eight days.
Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

While many area youths spent their winter break watching TV, sledding or playing with new Christmas presents, Austin sixth-grader Teyghan Hovland was taking the trip of a lifetime.

Teyghan spent his break in the USA winter baseball championships in Florida with the Stars and Stripes 12U All-American baseball team. Tegyhan, who made the trip with his dad, Jeff Hovland, and his grandfather, learned a lot about baseball and he made a lot of new friends from around the country.

The highlights for Teyghan were riding in the elevator to the top of the tall buildings, attending the Minnesota Gopher football team’s Citrus Bowl match-up against Missouri on New Year’s Day, and getting to know one of his 12-year old teammates, who spent a lot of time bragging about his two girlfriends.

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Teyghan also got plenty of baseball advice from former MLB players Brian Jordan and Mike Remlinger.

“He seemed to step right in and didn’t miss a beat,” Jeff said of his son. “I can already see it in his mechanics. He had a real problem in the spring and summer throwing strikes. I think they got him dialed in.”

The teams spent the first two days practicing and then they were drafted into teams. After one day of practice, the squads began playing games. Teyghan’s team went 0-6 in the tourney.

“There are a lot better players down there than there are up here,” he said. “It was fun.”

Jeff, a youth baseball coach for many years, said he learned some coaching tips from what he saw being taught in Orlando. He also saw how different areas handle their baseball.

“You could tell the difference between how we approach the game and how some of those teams do,” Jeff said. “[For them] It’s like an army drill, but they go out and they just take care of business.”

Teyghan also learned that you can’t judge a player by his size. One of his teammates — a short, red-headed boy named Braxton — taught him that.

“Don’t underestimate how tall you are,” Teyghan said. “Braxton was like [four-feet, three-inches tall] and he was crushing the ball. He was a small, feisty little kid.”

Jeff said he and his son had a great time on the eight-day trip and he was thankful for all of the local businesses that stepped up as sponsors to make the trip possible.

“The experience was phenomenal,” Jeff said. “It was first class.”

Teyghan was selected to play in the winter championships after he played in the Back to School Bash tournament in Wisconsin in the fall.