VANDALIA - Trent Dues first distinguished himself in baseball in 1987,
helping Coldwater High School to the state title.
He combined with his
brothers for a rare triple play. That is, all three played on state championship
teams their senior year. Todd played on the school's championship team in 1983
and Tony in 1990.
Dues, 31, has found success as a baseball coach at Vandalia
Butler. He hopes to be a part of state baseball history this weekend by guiding
the Aviators to a state crown. Butler (28-2) will play Akron Tallmadge (23-3) at
3 p.m. Friday in the Division II state semifinals at Cooper Stadium in
"I'm sure being there before as a player has helped me in
preparation this week," Dues said. "I hope the poise factor will make a
difference for our kids. We'll go into Columbus with a great attitude. The kids
think they can do it and will leave it all on the field.
"We're not going
to change anything," he continued. "I've told the players not to get caught up
in the hoopla. It's just another game, just on a bigger stage."
is such a thing as a rising star in baseball coaching circles, Dues fits it. In
six seasons he has guided the Aviators to an impressive 137-35 record for an 80
percent winning percentage, five consecutive Greater Miami Valley Conference
titles and three district titles. Butler is firmly entrenched as one of the best
programs in this part of the state.
His current edition ranks No. 3 in
the state coaches poll with a school-record 28 wins. The players are schooled to
make all the right moves. A source of pride for Dues is the fact that his teams
have a reputation for not beating themselves. They hit the cutoff man. His
outfielders back up one another.
His players are a reflection of their
coach. Dues is a go-getter who was groomed by several men.
played here he was a gamer, the dirtier his uniform, the better," said Bowling
Green State University coach Danny Schmitz. "He was our leader, a coach on the
field and when there was something that needed to be said, he said
Dues set a Bowling Green record for doubles in a season (16) and
spent a year as a volunteer assistant for the Falcons.
Dues played for
the legendary Lou Brunswick at Coldwater and coached under Bob Costello at
Butler. All three coaches made an imprint on Dues' coaching style.
and his brothers were energetic and played with a lot of fire," Brunswick said.
"That came from their father, Melvin, who was a fine fast-pitch softball player.
They were never satisfied with losing."
Dues followed his late father on
the base paths. He still plays in the Roy Hobbs Over-30 League.
playing the game and I love coaching it," he said. "I don't know which one I
enjoy the most. Coaching the kids here at Butler has spoiled me. They see me
working hard and they don't want to let me down. They are easy to motivate. I
let them have their own personalites and own music in practice. That is
something I got from Lou, who was like Sparky Anderson."
practices are played to a driving MTV-style rock-'n' roll beat. "Coach Dues
makes you want to be as good as you can be," said first baseman Josh Betts. "He
makes us confident."
* Contact Ron Jackson at (513) 743-5308 or e-mail
him at email@example.com
Copyright, 2000, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.
Copyright, 2000, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights