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NOTES

Mater Dei Coaches Say Reports of Departure Premature

June 11, 1996|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mater Dei softball Coach Doug Myers admitted he and his staff contemplated resigning after the Monarchs won the Southern Section Division I softball title. But when someone in the program admitted as much to a parent at the team's banquet on Wednesday, it began a fast-flying rumor.

"It isn't true," Myers said. "After the last game, we mentioned that it was going to be our last high school game, but it was more out of emotion than anything else. At the banquet, one of the assistant coaches mentioned that this was going to be it.

"We probably said some things afterward that we shouldn't have said out of emotion. It's like after travel ball, 99% of the coaches say they're going to leave and they end up coming back."

Myers, who was The Times' Orange County coach of the year in 1995, has directed his team to the section finals the last two seasons. The program is 76-11 during his three years as head coach.

The Monarchs are the top-ranked team in the state, according to rankings by Cal-Hi Sports.

"It's a long, long grind from September to the end of the season," Myers said. "We were looking at it, like, 'What's left to accomplish?'

"We considered it. But that's about it."

*

Although Mater Dei softball can consider itself a state champion, there's nothing to prevent it from proclaiming itself national champion, either.

The Monarchs are the top-ranked team from the most softball-rich state in the country.

Mark Tennis, editor of Cal-Hi Sports, said his publication toyed with the idea of national rankings this season but decided against it because more than half of the top 25 teams would be from California.

"We didn't know how that would look, being a California publication," Tennis said. "We decided to wait a couple of years, and maybe the rest of the country will catch up."

There are still parts of the Midwest where the seasons aren't over, and there is an undefeated team in Arizona, Scottsdale Chaparral (32-0) that has a 53-game winning streak and might lay a similar claim as the nation's best. Chaparral won the state's second-largest division, 4-A.

"I would think any of the top five or six teams in California would have to be considered the best team in the nation in softball--the top two or three in the Southern Section and the top two or three in the Central Section," Tennis said. "Arguably, the best team in the nation, with their No. 1 pitching, is Fresno Bullard with Courtney Dale [pitching], but she is limited to one start a week because of injury and the last couple of years in the playoffs, they've been beat with their No. 2 pitcher pitching."

Although there can always be arguments over who's No. 1, Tennis wonders why that has to be.

"The real shame is why there isn't a state softball playoff because there could easily be one," he said. "The girls could easily pitch three times in a weekend. You pick the best eight championship teams after the section finals and play four games Friday, two on Saturday morning and one on Saturday night. It would be one event, one site, one weekend."

It would be appealing with Mater Dei, Saugus, La Serna, San Diego Hilltop, Clovis, Morgan Hill Live Oak, Union City Logan and Roseville Oakmont.

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