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I've been blessed - 20 Year Anniversary of State Champs

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  • I've been blessed - 20 Year Anniversary of State Champs

    I've really been blessed. I hope you all enjoy these articles on one of the State Championship teams I was fortunate enough to coach. Often, I can't believe my life. One State Champion team in 1990 went on to win 64 games in a row before losing in the state championship game in 1991. Players from that team went on to play for the Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals, ... That would have amounted to more state championship games than most HS coaches ever get to coach in. Then, in 1998, we had this group of players who were just as tight. Just as competitive. Just as hard working. We knew we had something special. Yet, they were a bunch of little guys. In fact, in 1998, we went into Missouri to play some of the best teams in that state and during the arrival at one of the games, one of the hot shot stars of that team yelled that the JV game was down the street. Boy did that hack these guys off. Some of these guys would go on to play for the Cubs, Orioles, Padres, ... The local newspaper is running articles about the 1998 team to celebrate its 20 year anniversary. I was able to talk to a couple of these guys this past week. Again, I am so blessed. I'll weigh in more after I've given you some time to read these articles. If you have any questions or comments, please make them.

    https://www.theintelligencer.com/spo...r-12982610.php

    https://www.theintelligencer.com/spo...s-12985348.php

  • pattar
    replied
    Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
    Looking back on it now, I don't know how I did it.
    You were a lot younger ; ) My father used to throw BP to me like that, changeups,curves, etc. I also remember him developing bursitis in his shoulder but still
    dragging himself out there to do it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cannonball
    replied
    The 3rd installment of the recap of the 1998 State Championship Team:

    https://www.theintelligencer.com/spo...m-12988355.php

    Leave a comment:


  • Cannonball
    replied
    Thank you for the responses. I appreciate David's response in that article. I've told stories before about those days but few believe them. I was intense. What many casual observers missed was the pat on the back. They missed the jokes and laughter. As one of the others said to me the other night, the players would watch me throw BP and they knew that no other team had someone like that who could throw real BP with all of the pitches and do it for hours. One of the secrets in my coaching career that others would do well to think about is to lead by example instead of things like fear. Don't get me wrong, there were times they feared me. Much more often, there were times when we'd sit in a dugout after practice and laugh.

    For this particular team, another thing that only the players and myself know is that after we finished practice, these players would drive to McDonalds and get me a cheeseburger and a sweet tea. Then, they would show up about 30-40 minutes later back on the diamond for round two of just me against them in live hitting. At first, Matt Evers, Nick Seibert and David Crouthers were the only ones. Then, it blew up and all of the players came back. Looking back on it now, I don't know how I did it. Somewhere along the line, those kids got very protective of me. They would run water out to me. Bring me food. They even bought me a chair to sit in. It was a "director's chair" and it was really neat. When I would finish a bucket of balls, they would run the chair out, I would sit and they would pick up the balls.

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  • chief2791
    replied
    Well said Mud.

    And it's not just the success on the field, it's the life lessons that come out of it that kids carry for the rest of their lives. Coaches (and especially at the HS level) have an opportunity to have a tremendous impact on the trajectory of a kids life.

    Enjoyed the reads CB. Much respect! Very well done!

    Leave a comment:


  • mudvnine
    replied
    This is a great paragraph, and says so much about coaching the right way....
    “Work ethic is huge and so is building relationships with young people,” Crouthers said. “I have to give a lot of credit to (assistant) coach (Darrell) Butler, who was an integral part of my development in high school. With the intensity and the passion that he brought to practice, he pushed people, but he also built a relationship with them.
    Absolutely can't expect to be able to do the underlined, w/o doing the bold first.

    I've played for, and seen too many coaches over the years think they can simply come in, and start pushing w/o creating the various individual relationships with their players to learn/understand how each player reacts differently to all of the different kinds of "pushing" (motivating) we do. What works for one player will not work for all of them, and even turn some of them off or against the coach who thinks they're all the same, and treats them as such.

    I knew CB was a tough but passionate and caring coach, but it's nice to see it explained so succinctly, and perfectly in those 11 words from a player he coached and made a difference with 20 years ago now....as if it was just a season of two ago. Outstanding, well done Coach!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cannonball
    replied
    Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
    Good lord, 40-0 that's incredible. Great story.
    Like one of the articles says, they were the #1 ranked team in the country that year. When we went into Missouri, we played the top teams in that state and did better than good. These kids were competitors.

    Leave a comment:


  • pthawaii
    replied
    Good lord, 40-0 that's incredible. Great story.

    Leave a comment:

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