Things were slightly in limbo when the Canyon baseball team took the field for a VIBL game on Wednesday.
It was the second time the group was playing a game without former head coach Drew Peterson, who resigned one week ago citing personal reasons.
“Most of us don’t let it bother us,” said first baseman Cebastian Arriaga of getting adjusted to life without an official head coach. “We’re going to keep working hard, trying to get better for season.”
Peterson, who was unavailable for comment, called a seventh-period team meeting during finals week to inform the Cowboys of his departure.
“I was pretty upset because he’s a good coach,” said Justin Powell. “…He was just positive everywhere. Just never gave up. Even if we were down, he wouldn’t give up on us.”
In their most recent season – Peterson’s third at the helm – the Cowboys finished the season with an overall record of 14-13 and were fifth in the Foothill League. They did so with a roster that featured only four seniors.
They were unable to earn a playoff bid, but the result was a drastic improvement from the 2-27 record in 2017.
“I think we can keep growing,” Arriaga said. “We’re a pretty young team. We’ve got a couple sophomores going into the junior year and a couple juniors going into senior year, so and then we were pretty good, strong freshman class. So we might bring a couple guys up, you never know.”
Peterson is the only Foothill League baseball coach to resign after the 2018 season, but two other coaches resigned prior to the season’s start: Saugus’ John Maggiora and Golden Valley’s Steve Lombardi.
“It’s not an easy job and you come into a position like that and there’s a lot more to it than what happens on the diamond itself,” said Canyon athletic director Derek Rusk, “and we understand that people have lives outside of baseball and they’ve got to pursue what’s important for them.”
Cowboys assistant coach Chris Serrano has been named interim head coach while Rusk, who recently took over the AD position after the departure of Scott Arnold, and the administration seek out a new head man.
Until a new coach is named, Canyon will continue through summer with an unwavering mentality:
“We just all play as hard as we can, have fun out there and just see what happens from there,” Powell said.