Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Influential Coaches #7: Steve Radotich

Previous entries:
Series Overview
January: Paul Westphal (basketball)
February: Tara Gallagher (basketball/softball)
March: Robert Joseph Ahola (rugby)
April: Rickey Perkins (swimming)
May: Bob Smith & Mike Craig (baseball)
June: Michael Minthorne (strength & conditioning)

This story might take a little while to get to its main character, but bear with me. Valdez was, for many years, something of an athletic powerhouse at the 3A (of four) level in the state of Alaska. The volleyball team was typically good and sometimes great (seven state titles, with four in a row from 2001-04), the wrestling program was strong (twenty individual state champions), and the cross-country (four titles) and ski teams could hold their own. But basketball (three boys' titles, five girls', with an additional eight combined runner-up finishes) was unquestionably the biggest sport in Valdez, as it is throughout most of Alaska. When my parents first moved to Valdez in late 2000, you could count on five to ten percent of the town showing up in the gym for basketball games, more if the opponent was Cordova (plus their visitors). Heck, I coached a JV tournament that drew over one hundred people per game in the winter of 2001-02.*

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

World Cup Musings

Disclaimer: I'm about to embark on an analysis of a sport which I am pretty severely under-qualified to write about. I have never in my life played competitive soccer, not even as a little kid (I played tee-ball and swam instead). But the "gripping drama" (copyright Ian Darke) of the last few weeks has certainly gotten me in its hold; hell, I don't think I've seen more than a few innings of baseball since the World Cup started. Don't worry, footy fans; I'm no Ann Coulter who's going to blather about how soccer is a sign of moral decay. I thoroughly enjoy the sport, but I just don't know it as well as many other people. Experts (paging Richie and Michael), feel free to chime in on the comment board if I make a mistake. Otherwise, onwards and upwards (copyright John Reimers, for those of you who get that joke).