Baseball: The Newbury Park way
Rick Nathanson was in tears at Dodger Stadium Friday night. He was the head coach at Calabasas from 1992 through 2004. He has been coaching at various levels since the early 1970s.
"What a ride," he was saying as Newbury Park players celebrated a 2-1 win over Corona in the Southern Section Division 1 championship game. "Wow."
Nathanson is an assistant coach at Newbury Park under Matt Goldfield, the third-year head coach whose son, Josh, was a standout catcher at Calabasas in the 1990s.
Goldfield served as an assistant at Newbury Park to Scott Drootin and Chuck Berrington. He obviously must have pretty good people skills, since the last two head coaches, along with former coaches Mike Lee and Curtis Scott, eventually had to leave.
Goldfield placed his trust in the players. At a time when most coaches are calling pitches, he said he didn't call a single pitch this season, leaving it up to junior catcher Colton Waltner and his pitchers. It's no wonder Luke Eubank throws at warp speed, because he and Waltner are on the same page and it made them unique.
It's just one little thing but it helped the Panthers win a Division 1 championship.
It shows there's still hope for a neighborhood team to triumph, at least in baseball. And kudos to the Newbury Park coaching staff. They did it their way, and it was the right way.
-- Eric Sondheimer