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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

The Times' baseball coach of year: Newbury Park's Matt Goldfield

The Southern Section Division 1 champion Panthers' leader believes in trusting his players. 'I want players to react to the game instead of looking to the bench,' he says.

June 10, 2012|Eric Sondheimer
  • Newbury Park High School baseball coach, Matt Goldfield.
Newbury Park High School baseball coach, Matt Goldfield. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles…)

Baseball coaches haven't lasted very long at Newbury Park in recent years, but Matt Goldfield sure earned himself some respect in guiding the Panthers to the Southern Section Division 1 championship.

In his third year as coach after serving as an assistant, Goldfield believes in trusting his players. He says he didn't call a single pitch from the dugout all season, relying on catcher Colton Waltner and his pitchers to make the decisions on the field.

"There's different ways to get things done," Goldfield said. "You practice and tell them how to play. I want players to react to the game instead of looking to the bench."

Goldfield has been selected The Times' coach of the year.

He felt lots of satisfaction in helping a group of players rise up from the Marmonte League to knock off powers Mater Dei and El Toro on the way to a 2-1 victory over Corona in the final.

"Our guys are home-grown talent," he said. "It's like a 'Hoosiers' story. It can be done, but we have to be almost perfect. Our team was built on pitching and defense."

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