My Side of the Plate: Analyze before you criticize

With the exception of golf and track, high school spring sports seasons have ended on Whidbey Island.

Like just about every other place in the country when a team doesn’t have a winning record or fails to live up to preseason expectations, some people begin screaming for the coach’s head on a plate.

Having been through that routine a time or two, I find it interesting that the coach is always the first one blamed when a season goes in the tank.

Before any of the spring coaches at Oak Harbor endure any additional suffering by the “naysayers,” let’s analyze what happened.

Oak Harbor’s baseball team had a number of starting players returning and a lot of depth in the lineup but prior to the first game of the WesCo North season, coach Jim Waller’s two starting pitchers, both seniors, were out of the rotation with arm problems.

Two starting hurlers on the shelf is a recipe for disaster, just ask Joe Torre who had three on the disabled list at the same time. The difference between the Yankees staying in the hunt and the Wildcats finishing 5-14 is Jeter, Giambi and A-Rod in the middle of the batting order, something coach Waller didn’t have.

Next is the 2-17 Oak Harbor softball team.

In case anyone forgot, the Wildcats had two new co-head coaches this season and a young team with just three seniors on the roster.

Again, lest anyone forget, the Wildcats won more games this year than they had in the previous two.

Sure the coaches made some mistakes but hey, you live and learn and the team never quit playing hard.

Then we have the Oak Harbor tennis team that suffered a fair share of losses.

Before anyone calls for coach Mells’ dismissal, remember many teams in the WesCo North have indoor playing facilities so kids can swat balls all year long.

It sure would be nice if Oak Harbor had an indoor court, just ask Fred Henninger, who has had more road blocks thrown in his path than you’d find on the highway between Mosul and Baghdad trying to get one built.

Mells is a professional who has been coaching tennis kids for years and in my opinion, is a darn good coach and a good guy to work with.

As far as soccer goes, people are scratching their heads wondering how select teams can be so good only to fall completely apart on the high school pitch.

Folks, there is a big difference when select teams are chosen from an island-wide group of players and some of the high school teams have kids who have signed letters of intent to play Division 1 college soccer.

Any comparison between Class 4A soccer and a five-on-five game in a select league is ridiculous.

There isn’t a harder-working coach on the island than Steve Baker. Don’t believe me? Stop by practice some time and watch the “old dude” working drills with the team.

My advice to anybody who thinks they can do a better job than the Oak Harbor coaches is, “Pal, you just step right up and submit your application.”

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