Sports

Bainbridge High baseball coach will take over at OC

"Mike Reese and Ryan Rongcal are a team again.Reese will leave the head baseball coaching position at Bainbridge High School to accept a similar post at Olympic College, OC athletic director Barry Janusch disclosed this week.And he'll take Rongcal along with him as his chief assistant.We work real well together, said Rongcal, a 1994 Central Kitsap High School graduate who played for two years at OC. I was his assistant the first year he was at Bainbridge (1999). We've done camps together, we've done Peninsula Baseball together. We're looking forward to doing this.Rongcal went from Bainbridge to the head coaching position at Central Kitsap - a job he assumed when he was just 23 - where he's been for the last two seasons.It should be fun, Reese said of the new OC coaching hierarchy. It's a good community-based program, and I think we're looking forward to expanding on the success they've had and keeping the tradition they've built there.Reese, who accepted the job from Janusch on Tuesday, June 26, was working on a winning tradition in his short tenure at Bainbridge, where the Spartans were 49-17 under his tutelage.He succeeds Corky Franklin, who left OC after three seasons to take the head coach's position at Southwestern Oregon Community College at Coos Bay, Ore.Corky did a good job, Janusch said. Now we want to try to keep things headed in the direction Corky got them.The key to that, Reese said, will be identifying the top local players and getting them into Ranger uniforms.We've got to win the recruiting game, Reese said. If we're going to get into the playoffs, we've got to go out and get the kids who can play.We're not selling ourselves short, he continued, but we're looking two or three years down the road to get where we want to go.Janusch, who met with Reese last week, said he feels Reese is the right man for the job.I talked to almost all the local coaches, and they had nothing but good things to say about Mike, he said. He's got lots of energy and enthusiasm, and he's got good ties to the local high schools.Both Reese and Rongcal, relative youngsters in the coaching trade, said the move from high school to college was a career move.It's a great opportunity, said Rongcal. We'll be able to run the program the way we'd like. It's a chance to move up to the college level.Reese, who played for two years at Big Bend Community College and then at Central Washington University, called the move a personal decision to further my career in the game. I had a good playing career, and now I want to stay in the game and have a good coaching career.Both new coaches likely are more familiar with recruiting prospects from the high school ranks than they are with current OC players. Reese said his focus the last three years was squarely on the Bainbridge program, admitting, I think I've only seen (OC) play a half dozen times.But I've been in the (Olympic) League for three years, and I've developed a lot of great contacts with people around the area, he added. I'm confident in our ability to recruit ... but we are getting off to a late start this year.Olympic rallied in the final weeks of the 2001 season to finish with a 14-14 record in Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Northern Division play and a 21-17 overall mark. But it wasn't enough to get the Rangers into the conference tournament, a prize that eluded Franklin in his three-year tenure.It's a tough league, Reese said matter-of-factly. It's not going to be easy to become on of the top teams. It'll take some time, but that is our goal.The Rangers lost a number of key players who used up their second year of eligibility. But the 2001 freshman class was 17 strong, many of whom could bid for roster spots again next spring.I don't really know the (OC) players, said Reese, who was scheduled to meet for the first time with many of the Rangers Wednesday afternoon. It'll take me a couple of weeks to evaluate them, and see what we've got. "

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