Thursday, July 31, 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

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Price will seek re-election as Fairfield mayor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ is still dead

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9