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Here we go again

Column by Steve Yingling

How many talented and spirited coaches are South Tahoe High School administrators going to demoralize and run out of town?

During the past two decades, community members have tearfully seen outstanding coaches like Tom Orlich, Reve Ramos, Tim Jaureguito, Kelly Orlich, Anthony Davis and Dan McLaughlin feel unwelcome and unsupported at STHS.

Who’s next? Dominique Westlake? Joe Winters? Gary Hankoff?



South Tahoe’s latest victim is football coach Eric Beavers. All Beavers did was simply ask the school if it would be OK if he coached his dedicated off-season players on the junior varsity for one season. At a McQueen, Galena or Elko, Beavers would have just gone ahead and done it.

Since STHS was firm about tendering a varsity team with Beavers at the helm, the second-year mentor balked at coaching players who had not fulfilled off-season commitments. Hence, the hatching of the idea of coaching the JV for one season.



Obviously Beavers can’t allow undedicated players to return to the team. That causes dissension and lets the dedicated bunch know they don’t have to work as hard in the future.

What message is the school sending to the community? That integrity is not important and honesty isn’t the best policy?

Moreover, why have South Tahoe High administrators Karen Ellis and Jack Stafford continually shown little support for their coaches?

When Beavers didn’t agree to coach the varsity, school administrators pressed him for his resignation. That resignation finally came Tuesday afternoon, but in protest. In the letter of resignation, Beavers writes that the school pressured him to quit.

With the resignation in hand, the school doesn’t come across as wearing the black hat that a firing would bring.

Some sources close to the team are hinting that STHS didn’t support Beavers’ recommendation because it is worried about a potential lawsuit from Orlich. Orlich, a 25-year Viking basketball coach, proposed to coach the freshman team for the 2000-01 season and then reassumed his varsity coaching duties the following year. He was denied.

“I have a lot of respect for Eric and his staff. You can’t ask for better people coaching your kids,” said Orlich on Tuesday before departing to the third coaching job in his career — West Clovis High in Fresno. “Eric’s a great coach and a great person. I hope South Tahoe High doesn’t blow it and lose them.”

Jaureguito expressed similar concerns last week when the former Viking football coach was contacted in Reno.

“I don’t think they could have a better coach there,” said Jaureguito, now an offensive line coach at Bishop Manogue High in Reno. “I’m hoping the administration will support him and see the overall picture of where he’s heading. You look at two or three years down the road, because he’s only going to get better.”

As bad as most of the football community feels for the winningest quarterback in University of Nevada football history, the players stand to lose the most.

With no head coach in place one day before the first day of practice, what can a new coach with a different philosophy hope to accomplish this close to the season? The administration’s disinterest during the football program’s time of need earlier this summer doesn’t bode well for future coaches seeking support and direction.

Orlich chose to battle his war with the administration in the press, but Beavers has documented the mess and involved the South Tahoe Educators Association.

It’s progress, and hopefully only a matter of time before the school district does something to ensure that STHS administrators work with their coaches and not make them cower before their dictatorship.

— Steve Yingling can be reached at syingling@tahoedailytribune.com or (530) 542-8010.


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