I am a 1992 Pendleton High graduate and a former student of apparently former PHS baseball coach Steve Cary.
In addition, I handled public address announcing chores at PHS athletic events, including baseball, in the late 1980s and early '90s. You can count me among the long list of Steve Cary supporters. Thus it outrages and saddens me to hear of the school district's decision to let Mr. Cary go as baseball coach.
Steve Cary is a good coach but more importantly he is a good person. As a teacher and coach he didn't "play games" with you. He gave you honest evaluations of your work and actions. He also has the special intangible of a great sense of humor. It appears the Pendleton School District is making Cary the punch line of its ill-conceived joke.
This situation is confusing because winning usually covers up most ills and in this case it has not. The Bucks are well above the .500 mark in Steve Cary's tenure and they've been to the playoffs in eight of Cary's 10 seasons. Why is everyone in the Round-Up City not ecstatic over Buck baseball?
The athletic boosters in Hermiston must be laughing at the ugly dissension in Pendleton for a change.
As a sports editor of a daily newspaper and the husband of a high school varsity coach I'd like to think I know a little bit about prep sports. You can bet this situation has arisen either because of vocal, influential parents or an overzealous administrator.
In this case it sounds like both - a few parents are upset their kids are being held accountable by an old-school coach and a district administrator is continuing to run Pendleton's schools like they are his own private playground.
The result here is sad and PHS baseball pays the price.