THE PRESS BOX FOR MARCH 20
Many times we wonder why there are so many coaching changes. I had a chance to talk some last week to Magnolia Baseball head coach Dave Cisar, and it made me wonder what Magnolia sports, all of it, would be without him. Coach Cisar has been around a long time; in fact, he may have the longest tenure of any active coach in the state.
There are reasons why someone stays in one place so long. In most cases, it’s because they love what they’re doing, and another is because they’ve been successful.
When you have a good knowledge of your profession it makes it a lot easier to teach the subject, and I think that’s where a lot of coaches today fail. You have to be a student of the game yourself. That’s not to say that good athletes always make good coaches, because it doesn’t work that way.
Even when you know the game inside and out, your knowledge will only carry you so far. You have to have good athletes, and it seems like that’s where we run into problems a lot today. I’m not knocking our high school athletes; we have some good ones. I’m saying we need more kids who want to play and put out the effort to get better.
Any good coach will tell you, attitude is fifty percent of what it takes to be successful.
You need support from those around you, and you have to dedicate your time to making yourself better. Good coaches are like good athletes; they never quit, even when the odds are stacked against them, they still give 100 percent. They find ways to stay competitive, and many times, they win games they aren’t supposed to.
Men like Coach Cisar don’t come around that often, but when they do, young people wanting to be athletes should jump at the chance to get on his team. You’ll not only learn the sport, you’ll learn some life lessons – which will make you a better person. Coach Cisar is one of the most respected baseball coaches ever in the Ohio Valley.
This season will make 46 years he’s coached baseball for the Blue Eagles. I don’t know if that means anything to you, but to me, it says everything.
When I think of longivity I look at what has been accomplished during that time. Coach Cisar has turned out some great baseball players at Magnolia, and he’s not finished yet. I like what he told me last week when I asked him why he continues coaching after so many years: “Well Ed, what else is there? Anytime you can get on a high school baseball field, especially at my age, and teach the game you love, it’s a good day. Some guys say, ‘Anytime you can go fishing, it’s a good day!’ To me, baseball and the kids is what it’s all about. I played the game; I coached my kids, and I just love to teach the game of baseball.”
“I enjoy it and I hope I have made a difference in the lives of a lot of New Martinsville athletes. I stood on the sideline of the football field for a lot of years, and I loved that too. We had some success there, and I got to coach some great athletes. But baseball is my passion. I don’t know how many more years I have left; I feel pretty good most of the time, so hopefully I can continue on for a while.”
If you have ever been to a Magnolia Baseball or Football game when Coach Cisar was coaching, you would know what I’m talking about when I say give 100 percent. He is fun to watch; he knows what he is doing and works just as hard as he can. There are a lot of hardworking high school coaches around here, but none any moreso than Magnolia’s Dave Cisar. He loves Magnolia sports and represents the Blue Eagles well everytime he takes the field and puts a team on the field. If you haven’t seen him coach basebal, go to a Magnolia game this year. You’ll get a lesson on how it’s done.
Speaking of lessons, how about the coaching lesson West Virginia Basketball Coach Bob Huggins gave the Big 12? After most everyone had given up on the Mountaineers for this season, and some were even calling for Huggins job, he steps up and does what he does best: He gets a couple big wins. A few weeks back Huggins said he would right the ship; he said it might not be this year, but next season things would be different. He made some changes, sent a couple dead beats packing, and started working towards putting together a quality basketball team.
The Mountaineers have some good talent; it was just a matter of figuring out who should be playing and how much. No doubt, Coach made the right decision by using Jordan McCabe more and giving more playing time to a couple freshmen. While many had written this team off, Coach Huggins was just getting started. West Virginia has a gem of a coach; he’s like the cream of the crop among college coaches. Never count the Mounties out as long as Coach Huggins is at the helm.
Huggins had a great quote after knocking of Oklahoma and Texas Tech on consecutive nights in the Big 12 tournament: “We’re playing to be in the NCAA Tournament; that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “We had a meeting and sat down and talked about it, and this is our chance.” What a great quote and a great way to handle things from a great coach.
WVU Baseball is also underway, and as of this writing, they are making some noise. They got a win over the defending NCAA champions Oregon State by a 7-0 score, and were on a six game winning streak when this was written. The Mountaineers play a 53 game schedule with 22 home contests at Monongalia County Ball Park.
WVU Baseball will take on Big 12 opponents Oklahoma (March 29-31), Texas Tech (April 12-14), Kansas (April 19-21) and TCU (May 3-5), as well as regional rivals Pitt (April 3), Penn State (April 23) and Marshall (April 30). They will take part in a series against George Washington (May 16-18) to close out the regular season.
Don’t forget to take in some local high school games this season. Tyler Consolidated and Paden City have both started play, and the first track meet is right around the corner. Good luck to all of the area schools. firstname.lastname@example.org