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Webster working with Tallassee High School junior varsity player Caleb Stewart at CLP

Webster opens training facility

By Michael Butler

Stephen Webster was a senior on Tallassee's last state championship baseball team in 1998. In fact, he was on the varsity squad for the last two THS titles, as a freshman player in 1995 as well.

He and teammates; Justin Ellis, Rusty Smith and Brent Timmerman, were part of a purple and gold combo package that received scholarships to Gadsden State Community College.

According to the Tallassee High School Baseball Record Book, 53 players have gotten baseball scholarships. Five have been drafted; Alfred Rivers (Mariners organization, Giants organization), Craig Vaught (Blue Jays organization) Jonathan Rivers (Blue Jays organization), Bernard Hutchinson (Rockies organization) and Trey Cochran-Gill, who was picked by the Mariners organization and is currently with the Oakland A's.

Webster, who played collegiately at Montevallo after Gadsden State, also played professionally. He and another former Tallassee Tiger, David Warren, suited up for the Montgomery Wings of the All-American Association in the early 2000s.

With all of his baseball experience and knowledge, as well as a love for the game, Webster is giving back in his hometown. In addition to coaching a Dixie Youth Baseball team, he has been working one-on-one with baseball and softball players.

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"I'm not trying to coach them as robots," Webster said. "I'm not trying to get everybody to do the exact same thing. I do what fits each kid."

The daily trips to batting cages have led to Webster opening his own facility in downtown Tallassee, across from the former Hotel Talisi.

"We have a lot of traffic during the day. I sit and look at the Hotel Talisi everyday all day long and wonder is it every going to reopen."

The name of Webster's business is CLP Baseball and Softball Academy. The CLP stands for College Level Prep.

"90 percent of what I get with kids in the beginning is just kids swinging the bat," Webster added. "They're not using their bodies at all. That's mainly what I show them to do and be more agressive. I tell them I don't care about where you hit the ball. It's all about your swing."

The days are long but Webster's not complaining.

"I'm starting at 8:00 in the morning and am there until 5:00 or 6:00 right now, or until I have baseball practice. It's five or six kids every single day. Saturday and Sunday, I'm slammed. I tell people this the only job I think I could work 12 hours a day and be happy. I love it and the kids love it."

For more information, contact Webster through his Facebook page: CLP Baseball and Softball Academy.


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