Central sits out tourney

April 03, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

Contrary to what its schedule states, the Central Union High baseball team is not competing this week in the annual Coachella Tournament.

And Spartans coach Dave Middleton has mixed emotions about it.

"It can hurt being off for so long," the Central skipper said Tuesday afternoon. "You'd like to keep some continuity going right before getting back into league. As it is, we won't play a game for more than 10 days."

Central's last game was Thursday and the Spartans don't play again until Tuesday.

"On the other hand, we just got back from driving back and forth to San Diego for three days (to compete in the Lions Tournament)," Middleton noted. "That can really wear on you.


"And we would have had to drive back and forth four more days to the Coachella Tournament," he continued. "That can wear on you also."

Despite the wearying road trips, Middleton would have preferred to play this week.

"You really hate to lose potentially four games (from the schedule)," he said. "It would have given us some more valuable game experience before league."

Middleton isn't quite sure why the Spartans are not playing in the Coachella Tournament, which is being staged Monday through Thursday. Brawley, Calexico and Holtville highs from the Imperial Valley are competing in it.

"We've always been in it," Middleton said, saying Central had competed in the tourney since it started in the '60s. "I can even remember playing in it."

Middleton said there might have been some miscommunication.

Last season the Central coach expressed his frustration and displeasure with the way the tournament had been run lately.

The Spartans won the consolation championship, yet there was no tournament official present to congratulate Central, Middleton said.

"It was a championship game and there was no one there to even present us with our trophy," he said.

"I have enough trophies and I don't need another one, but this was for our kids," Middleton continued.

Also, the year before, Coachella Valley High abruptly canceled a doubleheader at Central without any explanation, Middleton said.

"I expressed to them I was not happy," he said, adding he told Coachella officials he was thinking of not competing in their tournament this year.

"But I never told them we absolutely were not," he added. "You would think they would have called us and asked if we were going to be there."

Middleton added Central athletic director Steve Evangelist talked to Coachella's AD several times since last fall about other matters and even once talked about the baseball tournament. Central was under the impression it was playing in it, Middleton said.

"I'm kind of disappointed we're not playing in it," Middleton added.

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