By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Of the hundred of thousands of the territory visitors, Ernie Yarbrough and his son Shawn of Georgia, are different. While his family planned to tour Tortola and hit the beach, they had other plans—making a contribution to the development of sports.
Yarbrough, the Associate Director of the High School Sports Association who also runs a baseball/softball academy, told St. Thomas’ Eric Philpert who works with him and umpires college softball games along with his son, he’d be stopping in the BVI. Phiplbert to told him to cast an eye on what Terry “Chino” Chinnery is doing at the Old Recreation Grounds Softball field, for youth development.
“I just wanted to watch the young players and if I could help with their skill level and teach them something,” said Yarbrough, who has been involved in baseball and softball for 40 years and work with players from 7 years through college, after his football career ended. “There’s a lot of different ways to play this game. There’s a lot of different teaching techniques, but really when it comes down to it, it’s a simple game. You got to see the ball, you got to hit the ball. You got to see the ball you got to catch the ball and once you catch it, you got to be able to throw it. It’s really a simple game but people make it too complicated,” he pointed out. “What I try to teach is a simple method of doing all those skills.”
Yarborough who’s on the USA national softball committee and also on the national rules committee, was impressed with the effort he saw from the BVI players on Thursday after he got off the Norwegian Spirit.
“Every kid out there worked hard and just their enthusiasm to play,” he noted. “It was really refreshing to see that because there’s a lot of kids in the states that’s doing it because their parents want them to do it so they don’t give a good effort or they have been so spoiled with everything they get in the states, they don’t work very hard for it. So, it was really, really encouraging to me and very enlightening to me, how bad these kids want it. That mean’s I’ll come back.”
Chinnery who earlier in November had San Diego Padres Scout Chip Lawrence looking at his players, said he was surprised when he got the call from Philbert who he once coached on St. John.
“We made the arrangements and when they came, we made arrangements for them to work the kids out so I want to thank everybody what was involved for making it possible,” Chinnery said. “I’m always about exposure and they have gotten a lot of exposure. Yarborough is over the whole sate of Georgia and his son Shaun has a girls softball team he travels with and is looking to take Chloe Scatliffe up for the summer to play with his team and stay with them, so that’s a positive sign. And the other guys for baseball, he really admires them and I’m going to try and get them to attend a camp in Georgia next summer.”