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Coaches do an incredible job

Coaches deserve recognition for doing a good job
by: Self-portrait, Sports Editor John Brewington

Most coaches don't take much of the credit for their team's successes, preferring to praise their programs, staff, and players. That's the case with Scappoose High Baseball Coach Robert Medley and St. Helens High Softball Coach Jeff Edwards.

Still the head coach is usually the first one to be blamed for critical losses, and poor team performance.

Good coaches know what it takes to build a program and ongoing successful teams are usually years in the making.

Kudos to Medley and Edwards for their team's successful league seasons. Both deserve to be Coaches of the Year in their respective leagues.

Medley is just a two years off their 2010 state championship upset of Astoria, a really memorable and exciting state championship game. It would surprise many to learn that despite their success this season, it's been since 1995 that Scappoose has won the Cowapa League baseball title.

The baseball team has made major strides this season and won some big games. Overall, the six-team Cowapa League has three teams that are languishing near the bottom of the state rankings. Scappoose (No. 3) and Astoria (No. 7) are clearly a notch above.

Astoria has won three state championships, since 2006 and been second two other times. They've been in five of the last six state championship games.

That record has made it hard for Scappoose to win a league championship, but they won a state title. Now the Indians earned the No. 1 league slot to the play-ins because they have the tiebreaker. Technically, it's probably a co-championship, but Scappoose will rightfully claim honors.

It should be a treat to see how far the teams will go in the playoffs, predicting they will win their play-in games and advance. Anything can and often does happen in baseball. Scappoose was a little humbled in Douglas last year. They should do better this year.

On the softball side, Edwards had built a good program in St. Helens. Some say well he got an elite level pitcher this season. True, but it doesn't matter how elite you are if the rest of the team can't field or hit.

Edwards, sometime known for his nervousness, has relaxed a bit this season and letting the team's record speak for itself.

They've taken on some of the best teams in the state and been successful.

The Lady Lions were just one run from forcing extra innings against Putnam and possibly winning the league title. Still, their five of six game run this past week has left them no worse than tied for second.

The 5A classification sets play-in games a little differently than the 4A class. They have a Northern Division of three leagues. The bottom two are eliminated and the remaining 16 are seeded (No. 1 vs. No. 16, No. 2 vs. No. 15, etc. via the state ranking system) into a bracket. The only caveat is that teams from the same league can't play each other unless there are no other options.

Both coaches note how good their programs are. I may be wrong but I think both have unbeaten jayvee teams. That speaks well for seasons to come.

The teams have won some big games, lost a few along the way, but proven they are among the best in state.

The players do deserve a lot of credit, but also give credit to those coaches that persevered through one of the wettest springs ever and emerged at the top of their leagues. There are always obstacles to overcome, but they did so, and look where they are now.

Whatever happens in the league balloting, they are the respective Coaches of the Year in our book.