Longtime Francis Howell Baseball Coach Tony Perkins has likely seen a lot in more than 20 years coaching high school baseball. Hundreds of wins, a few state titles to his credit, and plenty of players who have gone on to big things, including Brett Graves, now angling for a shot at the Major Leagues with the Oakland Athletics. But he was one of several local coaches to point out on social media this week how tough it still is to have to cut a player after tryouts are over. We asked him to dive in and share more of his perspective.
Telling kids that they can no longer play baseball at their High School is one of the toughest things a coach has to do. Coaches develop relationships with not only the student athlete but the parents as well. Some kids come to every camp the Coach offers since they are 8 years old. They attend every open gym that is available throughout the year and make a ton of sacrifices of their time and energies. Every year they work hard to develop and be good enough to wear that High Schools uniform.
On the first day of official tryouts players walk in and there could be 40 kids trying out for each team at the school. There is no way a High School coach will keep 40 kids on their team. Teams will normally keep inbetween 15 and 20 kids on their rosters. Back in the day coaches would make up a list of kids that make it and post it somewhere. These days at our particular school each kid that is cut gets a conversation from the coach. It is the least we can do for the efforts of the kid that has tried out. During those conversations is when you see the look of total devastation. A lot of those individuals have to fight back the tears as they do not want anybody seeing them crying.
It gets tougher and tougher every year to make the team as the players keep coming out every year and keep getting cut. Those are the kids that you have nothing but respect for but the talent level is just not up to par with the other kids his age. Just the desire those kids have to give it their best shot needs to be admired.
Contrary to belief, Coaches detest cutting kids. They have a job to do and if a kid happens to make the team they need to determine if that kid will be satisfied with being on the team and not playing that much. There are kids that will not be starters that become a ‘cancer’ to the team as they bad mouth teammates and coaches. So it is a ticklish situation when the coaches pick the kids that they want on their team.
Just some thoughts from Coach Perkins of Francis Howell