March 19, 2016
Shorty Howell Park Duluth Georgia
South Gwinnett Comets at Duluth Wildcats
Head Coach Derek Downs (pictured left)
Assistant Coach Lloyd Deaver (pictured right)
GW: What is the name of the organization your team plays for?
DD: South Gwinnett Athletic Association- part of the Gwinnett Recreation Sports League
GW: What is the age group that you guys coach?
LD: They are 15 to 18.
GW: How many hours do you guys come out to coach this team?
DD & LD: 2 games a week and (1) 2 hour practice per week. [about 6 hours a week]
GW: How long have you guys been coaching baseball?
DD: About 20 yrs. On and off
LD: Since my son was 4 and aged out 3 yrs ago 21 now [19 years]
GW: Is this a paid position?
DD & LD: No it’s strictly volunteer.
GW: Wow! That’s a lot of time a lot dedication huh?
DD & LD: Yes.
GW: What do you guys do for a living?
DD: I do automotive installations.
LD:I am a senior programmer analyst with Macy’s
GW: That’s where the real money comes from?
LD: Well that’s where the money comes in from (laughter)
GW: Coach Downs, what is the most difficult thing about coaching in a league like this?
DD: Dealing with the different personalities of the children and the skill levels. Out here with rec baseball its mostly players that are just filling in their time and they’re just doing something for extra curricular. This is not their full time thing like high school sports or travel baseball and things like that. So it’s different with the experience levels and personalities and mixing those things together because bringing those along that are less experienced and trying to get them up to speed along with the players with way more experience and keeping them motivated to continue forward and even with the experienced players and keeping them motivated and playing as well.
GW: Very good, very good; makes a lot of sense. How about the best part, what makes you come out here day after day, week after week season after season?
LD: It’s baseball!
DD: Number one it’s the game. Number two it’s the kids. I mean coach Deaver hasn’t had a kid on the team as you heard for three years and we’ve still been coaching together and neither one of us have had a kid on the team in the fall and we continued to coach because we enjoy the game first of all and seeing the same kids- it’s great!
LD: Seeing the ones who have less experienced kids improve that really gets to us.
GW: Significant transformations you’re seeing?
DD: Right! We don’t turn anyone away we try to keep the numbers on the team down so we can have more playing time, but at the end of the day I mean we committed ourselves this year to taking 12 players and we ended up with 13 because somebody would call and say I want to play ok come play and that’s just the way it is. And it doesn’t matter uh well I ‘ve never played before It doesn’t matter come play.
GW :Awesome! Awesome! SO it’s inclusive? You are trying to get as many people as possible to get out here, get some exercise, have some fun and perhaps find a new passion, maybe a new love like you guys here with baseball? Awesome. Awesome stuff!
GW: And you’re in the second game of the season or third?
DD & LD: Yes. Second.
GW: How many games do you guys play in a season?
LD: Typically we play 12 and then we have a tournament at the end of the season
DD: Yeah, that will be a single elimination tournament usually with all of the teams in the league that are seeded into a bracket and you just go from there. Last man standing.
GW: I want to thank you guys for the incredible job you do and for giving young people an outlet for fitness! Good luck to you this season and as always keep it real!