By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE April 15, 2003 Chris DePew was all geared up for the 2003 softball season.
But for the second year in a row, DePew had to pull the plug on the softball program when not enough players lived up to their promises to take the field.
When we started on February 1, about 14 players showed up, said DePew, SCCCs head softball coach. Assistant Coach Kyle Walter and I recruited 15 girls to come here and play softball this year, and we started getting things going . . . getting the practices up and running, physicals and eligibility.
After the first meeting, things went downhill fast, as fewer and fewer players showed up for practice, citing as reasons conflicts with work and/or class schedules.
Our biggest problem was that several girls who had committed to play said they couldnt fit softball into their schedules, said DePew, who is also the colleges Athletic Director.
A couple of weeks ago, nine players showed up for practice. In the wake of two rescheduled games, first one player couldnt make it, then it was two and the team was down to seven.
Last Monday, he faced up to the fact that this seasons softball seasonwas a goner, and yanked it from the sports schedule.
But SCCC wasnt the only junior college in NJCAA Region XV with softball headaches.
By the time DePew called his program out at the plate, nine of the regions 15 teams were still in the running. With Sullivan benched for the season, it was down to eight teams in the region, two of which are carrying only nine players, and thats one sprained ankle away from being in the same boat, said DePew.
As a coach, I dont take a lot of nonsense and I run a tight ship, he said. I had to throw a lot of my coaching morals out of the window to try to make this softball program work, and its still not working. Its difficult to get a quality group of girls to commit to playing for the whole season.
DePew said that while he pulled the plug on the 2003 softball season, hes not ready to throw in the towel on the program entirely.
Kyle and I are going to hit the recruiting trail again and see what happens, he said.