W hat is the highest essence of high school sports? Is it learning fair play and fine-tuning ethical responses to adversity? Is it striving to win and taking pride in one’s effort no matter the outcome of the game? Is it finding pleasure in the competitive nature of every game? Is it building friendships with other team members, friendships that carry over after the season is ended and the equipment stored away until next year?
If you ask Coast Union
softball coach Rocky Fordyce—whose team has won just once this season thus far—he’ll likely agree with every point mentioned above. But when it comes to the 2010 Lady Broncos, he adds some points of his own.
“What I want my players to learn is how to keep a good attitude on the field. They are learning that. I want them to put everything they have into the game, and they’re doing that.” He also insists that the players work hard in practice— “As hard as they work during a game.”
Fordyce coached Coast Union softball from 1983 to 1997, and agreed to come back and coach again when he was called upon to replace coach Will Jackson. Fordyce told The Cambrian this week he is working hard with his team on the fundamentals, throwing the ball to the right place at the right time, and catching the ball—or at least knocking it down and keeping it in front of you.
Another aspect of Fordyce’s strategy is the “slap bunt”—without a full swing, just slapping the ball into the ground and running while you swat at the ball. Some of the teams the Broncos play are from much bigger schools and the pitches come in fast with movement on the ball. It may be hard to get a quality swing on some of those pitches.
But if the batter can just get the bat on the ball, and put it in play, there is always a chance that a fielder may not play the ball cleanly and the hitter winds up at first base, Fordyce explains.
The next home game for the Lady Broncos is April 27 against archrival Mission Prep.