Friday, November 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

DR 2012 Coach of the Year: Chatham led Rodriguez to section baseball glory

29chatham_jasonBW

Rodriguez High School baseball coach Jason Chatham, photographed during the SJS Division III championship game against El Camino at Sacramento State College in May. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic file)

By
From page B1 | December 29, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — Jason Chatham has seen a lot in his 11 seasons at the helm of the Rodriguez High baseball team.

The only head coach the Mustangs have known, Chatham has seen the program grow from its infancy to a major power in the area baseball scene.

After repeated trips to the playoffs and one close call in 2011, Chatham finally guided his team to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship in the spring and for that, he is the Daily Republic’s 2012 Coach of the Year.

“It has come a long way,” Chatham said. “One of the advantages of starting from scratch is that you don’t have to undo anything.”

Indeed. For the Mustangs, it’s been a constant march forward.

“It did take a long to get to where it is now, but it’s really gratifying,” Chatham said. “But we still want to take it further.”

It wasn’t easy reaching the pinnacle of prep baseball in the state of California – there is no CIF state championship in the sport – and things didn’t start out all that great for the Mustangs.

“We had some struggles around that fifth game, we were 1-4. Early on we were trying different combinations,” Chatham said. “We were so deep we had to see the way we played out in a game. We didn’t really have an identity at that point.”

The struggles continued into practices as well.

“Somewhere around the fifth or sixth game, we had a tough practice,” Chatham said. “We had a heart-to-heart talk. ‘Do we want to fold the tent and be an average program or are we going to put everything into it?’ ”

From that point on, the Mustangs embarked upon a six-game winning streak and went 22-5 the rest of the way.

“That was the turning point of our season. That was a huge moment. We weren’t OK with being average,” Chatham said. “Right in that moment, the kids made a decision to give it everything we’ve got.”

Chatham gives much of the credit to his players.

“The coaches are the beneficiaries of seeing a highly motivated group of kids,” he said. “The kids had fun, and the success in the end really kind of validates that.”

Winning the section championship was just as huge for Chatham and his staff as it was for the players.

“It’s just a real source of pride for all of us that are a part of it,” he said. “You can’t be successful unless you have outstanding players and support. We’ve had some fantastic coaches come through here. We’re strong from JV to varsity. I’m just real fortunate to be a part of it.”

Chatham’s dedication to his players and his craft as a teacher as well as a coach is another reason he was chosen as the year’s top coach.

“We know exactly what we want from our players. . . . and we enjoy putting that jigsaw together,” Chatham said. “It’s more than just winning. It’s improving them as people too, and as students. We want our student-athletes to be excellent in the classroom. We want them to be young ambassadors of the game.”

As for what keeps Chatham going, it’s simple.

“It’s really been a labor of love,” he said. “What we do at Rodriguez been a huge part of my identity. I love doing it and the baseball field is really an extension of the classroom. It allows you to reach kids in a new way. I can’t tell how gratifying it is.”

Talking about the theory that all coaches have a shelf-life, Chatham said he doesn’t see that as an issue.

“I’m 37, I’m still young. I don’t see a point where this is going to become boring or monotonous,” he said. “As coaches, we’re constantly in contact. The program is in great shape for years to come.”

And the Mustangs are hardly going to rest on their laurels with one blue section title banner.

“We have high goals for ourselves. We want to be one of the top programs in he area,” Chatham said.

That goal faces a stiff challenge this spring as Rodriguez moves into the Monticello Empire League and likely up to Division I in the postseason.

“In Division I, we’ll be tested day in day out,” Chatham said. “The league will be difficult and well-coached. And then what we have to do in playoffs effectively doubles.”

Given as long as he’s been around, Chatham said he’s still figuring things out.

“In Year 12, there’s still a lot I need to learn to get better,” he said.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or mcorpos@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Giving thanks, ‘even in this broken world,’ on Thursday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano Turkey Trot draws 2,600 to college

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Il Fiorello schedules olive milling day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Early Black Friday shoppers take advantage of deals

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eagle Scout project adds floating docks at Rockville Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

‘Guardian angel,’ community join to give man home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tons of marijuana seized in Central California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Gorilla death prompts San Francisco Zoo changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Health agents still unpaid after plan’s rollout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California Burger King employee finds $100,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Families asked to host visitors for pope’s US trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Researchers discover ‘pre-cancers’ in blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
35 arrested in Oakland after protest march

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

A glance at Ferguson: Then, now and the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Ferguson gives thanks after a quiet night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Small quake rattles California wine country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Harvard admissions, then and now

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
 
What it costs to fight the Islamic State

By Walter Pincus | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Movies just another course on Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Poor health is no excuse for not behaving like a caring person

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

Horoscope for Nov. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

Week in preview: Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Prison theater transforms Colombian inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Singer John Mayer among ‘Late Late Show’ subs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ doesn’t work

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Talking songs with She & Him

By Kim Durbin | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Nov. 28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

College notebook: Many happy returns for Arizona’s Bondurant

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Rookie quarterback Carr is Raiders’ silver lining

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Eagles roll over Cowboys 33-10 for NFC East lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Johnson shines in Detroit’s 34-17 win over Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Signups for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

No. 9 UCLA must overcome Stanford for Pac-12 title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Kia’s ‘Soulful’ first electric car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

3 Reasons holiday shoppers will spend cautiously

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Deanna L. Haines

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Esther Ringler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

‘Chipper’ Douglas Lee Anderson Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9