Chris Millsback named all-league coach of the year

After taking the baseball team to the playoffs for the first time in its history, coach Chris Millsback was named all-league coach of the year by the other coaches in the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League.

“I was very pleased to win an award,” Millsback said.

To assistant coach Michael Cvetich, though, naming Millsback coach of the year was an obvious choice.

“I think it’s hard for other coaches not to notice the turnaround from one or two wins last year to 13 wins this year,” said Cvetich, also noting the players’ higher batting averages. “Having better players helps, but getting those players to work well together is a big deal for the coach.”

And work together they did. The team ended the season with a league record of 9-3 and an overall record of 13-5.

“Fundamentally, (Millsback) is very sound as far as teaching technique,” Cvetich said. “But he also has a very direct way of transfering that information.

“There’s not a lot of gray area with the stuff he’s trying to explain – he makes his expectations very clear so (the players) don’t have to wonder how to succeed.”

However, Cvetich said Millsback’s best trait as a coach is his trust in his players.

“He’s more shocked when they don’t execute than when they do,” Cvetich said. “I sometimes lose my patience with a player, but Millsback is able to just ride the storm. Even if (the game’s) going rough at the moment, (Millsback) trusts that his players will get it right.”

Senior George Cvetich agrees that Millsback deserves to be coach of the year for his trust in the team.

“(Millsback) always believed that we could win any game, which was huge for us,” George said. “Even when we were down or having a bad game, he always stuck with us.”

In addition to Millsback’s award, senior Ethan Ham and freshman Miles Edwards were named first team all-league.

“(Ham and Edwards) were easy selections for all the coaches,” said Millsback, who was not involved in the voting process. “Both  were very deserving of the award.

“(Ham) and (Edwards) earned it on the mound and also with their bats at the plate.”

This was the first time that two SCDS players made first team all-league in the same season.

Senior Erik Morfin-Ruiz and sophomore David Boley were also named second team all-league.

“(Boley) did a great job at first base and finished the season with a .435 batting average,” Millsback said. “And (Morfin-Ruiz) played an amazing center field for us this year.”

George Cvetich and sophomore Emil Erickson were awarded honorable mentions as well.

Senior Dominic Stephen, who’s been on the team for four years, said he’s glad to be on a winning team with Millsback “after putting in so many hours for so many years.”

“(Millsback’s) suffered through some rough years (with the team),” Stephen said. “It’s about time he’s being rewarded for his dedication.”

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