Teenage boys took to the field for a day of baseball and learning at Phil Welch Stadium on Thursday.
The Willpower Annual Baseball Camp was hosted by Mosaic Life Care and the St. Joseph Mustangs.
Attendees rotated through stations with various Mustangs players, learn offensive and defensive skills. While the camp hosted a morning of fun, its purpose was bigger than baseball.
Will Carter, a testicular cancer survivor, spoke to the 12- to 15-year-old boys about the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.
“We come out every year — Mosaic puts this on, of course — and it’s a great opportunity for me especially to come out here, tell my story, provide a nonthreatening environment for these kids to pick up a little information on a disease that affects a lot of young men, which is testicular cancer,” Carter said.
Carter, a St. Joe native, played baseball in high school at Central. He continued playing at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, before transferring to Missouri Western.
Carter was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. He now uses his experience to teach young boys about the disease while letting them enjoy baseball at the same time.
“My background in baseball has kind of brought me into this opportunity,” Carter said. “It’s obviously been something that has drawn some attention from Mosaic to give me an opportunity to come out and spread the word.”
Radiation oncologist Andrew Walker also spoke to the campers about ways to live healthy lives and prevent cancer. Walker is in his first year working for Mosaic, but as a baseball fan, he said he enjoys seeing the kids come out and play and learn how to live a better lifestyle.
“I think establishing good choices and behaviors when these kids are young is gonna bode them well in the future,” Walker said.
Carter also said seeing what the Mustangs and Mosaic teamed up for makes for a great camp.
“Honestly, it’s awesome that the Mustangs are willing to participate and give these kids an opportunity,” Carter said. “It’s a free camp out here and to learn from guys that are playing at a pretty high level of baseball, and it’s so fun watching them go out and have fun with this and have some competitions they can enjoy with each other and also be in an environment where they can learn some things, so it’s awesome.”