Times’ prep base­ball coach of the year

He took Reseda team to cham­pi­onship game, of­fer­ing sup­port on and off the field.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Eric Sond­heimer eric.sond­heimer@la­times.com

In 30 years of coach­ing, Scott Drootin has won league ti­tles at Cal­abasas, New­bury Park and Cham­i­nade, but his best coach­ing per­for­mance might have been this sea­son at Reseda Cleve­land, where he took a team picked to fin­ish fifth in the West Val­ley League and made it to the City Sec­tion Di­vi­sion 1 cham­pi­onship game be­fore los­ing to El Camino Real, 4-3, at Dodger Sta­dium.

“This was one of my eas­i­est teams to coach, be­cause they were all will­ing to buy in, lis­ten and play for each other,” Drootin said.

Drootin has been se­lected The Times’ coach of the year in high school base­ball.

The coach found a way to suc­ceed even though his best hit­ter, Austin White, played the en­tire sea­son with a torn labrum in his shoul­der. Drootin was also a men­tor and lis­tener to his best player, sopho­more pitcher and first base­man Sam Villa, whose fa­ther died in De­cem­ber. Villa shed many tears, but his coach was al­ways there to of­fer sup­port.

Cleve­land fin­ished with a record of 24-12 and tied with Chatsworth for sec­ond place in the West Val­ley League. The Cava­liers de­feated Chatsworth in a play­off semi­fi­nal be­fore forc­ing El Camino Real to hold on in the cham­pi­onship game.

Drootin, in his sec­ond sea­son at Cleve­land, showed what a ca­pa­ble coach can ac­com­plish on and off the field when lis­ten­ing and re­spond­ing to the needs of his play­ers.


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