VANDALIA - They've referred to it as the "Coldwater
But there's nothing magical, mysterious or even haunting about
the baseball atmosphere that permeates the premises at Vandalia Butler
When Trent Dues arrived with his baseball notebooks and coaching
attire at Butler 11 years ago, the only mirrors utilized were in the boys
Dues isn't above knowing a few honest tricks of the trade,
but the order of the day for the all-time Coldwater High School great was -
plain and simple - sound, basic and fundamental baseball.
Dues' troops of
2003 have already spread their talents around the Miami Valley in summer
programs, but not before neatly tucking away one more prized campaign in a
career that is envied by coaching rivals everywhere.
The recently tagged
Division I All-Area Coach of the Year guided his Aviators through a superlative
25-5 season and it took the nation's No. 6-ranked team - Milford - to finally
cool the Aviator jets (8-1).
The setback failed to faze Dues' 9-year
varsity coaching record of 208-63 and eight straight conference
Dues, who tuned up for his successful run by serving two
years as a reserve mentor, was one of three brothers who helped create the
"mystique" reputation as a result of outstanding careers.
Todd, Tony and
Trent all played on state AA championship baseball teams at Coldwater under
legendary coach Lou Brunswick who instilled the basics of the game in all the
individuals he coached during a 34-year career.
Trent Dues went on to
star as an infielder at Bowling Green State University, but Tony played
basketball at Wittenberg while Todd also played baseball at BGSU. And Trent's
deep-seeded love for the game remains intact locally as a player in the over-35
Roy Hobbs League.
"It's fun and it keeps me in shape," said Dues, who
still plays first and third-base, the same positions he played in
Dues is highly respected by his players and perhaps the finest
testimonial is a comment from his star pitcher, Ethan Furlong, who'll be a
senior in September.
"I think the most amazing thing about Coach Dues is
how he keeps winning, even with different kids, every year," Furlong said. "He
just always finds a way to win."
While Furlong was reeling off a 10-game
victory streak before running into Milford's big bats, there were several other
key performers in what amounted to one of Butler's best-ever seasons on the
Dues adds a capsule commentary on those key stars:
Tyler Koch: "He was a superb all-around ballplayer loaded with skills, a good
arm and a lot of baseball savvy."
* Ryan Radominski: "It was strictly a
dream season for Ryan because he was our big RBI guy and he tied a school record
* Brent Collinsworth: "He was first team all-conference as
a sophomore and our No. 2 RBI star."
* Ethan Furlong: "A solid pitcher
and his 10 straight wins brought us a long way."
* Ben Hughes: "As a
catcher, he was the quarterback of our team, had a strong arm and he knew how to
* Will Gibson: "It was a big senior season for Will; he
was a solid outfielder and hit nearly .400."
* Matt Gordon: "He was our
hottest hitter in the closing weeks of the season after a slow
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Copyright, 2003, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.
Copyright, 2003, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights