Youth, Major League baseball and weight room renovations highlight July 2015 is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

America’s pastime was front and center through July of 2015, with local youth teams atop the list as New Hanover and Brunswick counties had ball clubs take part in national tournaments. The weight room at Topsail High School underwent a major facelift thanks to its boosters, while Connor Barth held his annual free kicking clinic at Hoggard. A former Laney baseball player also got the call to the big leagues.

Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated booster club, private donors and a golf tournament featuring a handful of big-time names, the Topsail High School weight room underwent a total face lift heading into fall practices.

Jeff Ferrell. Photo courtesy- Erie Seawolves.
Jeff Ferrell. Photo courtesy- Erie Seawolves.

New floors, new mirrors, a fresh coat of paint and new equipment were updates to the school’s weight room, made possible by a four-month fundraising effort.

The outpouring of support yielded a refreshed facility, complete with new bars, power racks and kettlebell racks for the facility.

Of the 100 teams competing at the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament in Cooperstown, New York, the Wilmington-based Rock Solid Red team advanced to the 12-and-under finals against top seeded South Jersey Sand Sharks of New Jersey.

Cooperstown is home to baseball’s Hall of Fame and several local teams from the Rock Solid organization took the weeklong trip to New York State.

The Cooperstown Dreams Tournament holds weekly tournaments each summer, with over 1,300 teams from across the country competing each season.

Photo courtesy- Cooperstown Dreams Park.
Photo courtesy- Cooperstown Dreams Park.

In Brunswick County, the 10-under Southport/Oak Island All-Star team represented North Carolina at this year’s Dixie Youth World Series.

Wilmington native Connor Barth also teamed up with his family to host their third annual Barth Kicking Clinic at Hoggard High School. The one-day camp was geared at helping athletes of all ages learn more about the ins and outs of kicking or to improve on skills already learned.

Joining Connor Barth was his brother, former UNC kicker Casey Barth, along with their father, Tom Barth, in addition to other athletes, including fellow Hoggard alum and former N.C. State punter Wil Baumann.

After making just one appearance and recording one save for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, former Laney baseball standout Jeff Ferrell got the call of a lifetime in the first week of July when the right-handed relief pitcher was brought up to the big leagues to work in the bullpen for the Detroit Tigers.

Ferrell, who was drafted by Detroit in the 26th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, spent four seasons in various levels of the minors after spending one year at Pitt Community College. His first appearance for the Tigers was rough, as he pitched one inning and allowed two hits and two earned runs against the Toronto Blue Jays.