The Ottumwa Courier


February 1, 2013

Area Sports Notebook: Area baseball skippers honored by IHSBCA

OTTUMWA — Todd White, Rod Ashman and Bill Huisman are certainly no strangers to each other. They’re also no strangers to successful summers at the old ballpark.

The three South Central baseball coaches have led their teams to plenty of wins over the years. During that time, they’ve all squared off in great battles against one another that have brought the best out of the young athletes they are coaching.

This weekend, all three will honored for their success by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association. The IHSBCA’s 45th annual Awards Banquet on Saturday in Des Moines will honor White as one of Class 2A’s best coaches while honoring Ashman and Huisman for achieving career milestone victories this past year.

White, who has led Davis County to their only three state tournament appearances over the past three years, will be honored as the Southeast Iowa District Coach of the Year in Class 2A for the second straight year. Last year, White earned State Coach of the Year honors for all of 2A after leading the Mustangs to the program’s first state baseball title.

Huisman will be the lone coach to be honored  this year for joining the “800 win” club. The longtime leader of the Centerville Big Reds earned his milestone win early on this past summer in an 8-5 win during the nightcap of a doubleheader at Pella on June 5.

Huisman is now ninth all time in career victories for Iowa High School baseball coaches, establishing an overall record of 817-521 after leading the Big Reds to a 21-16 record last summer. Huisman is one of few coaches in the top ten to coach at just one schools having led the Centerville program to a pair of state titles in Class 3A, winning the crowns in 1988 and 2008.

Joining White and Huisman as representatives of the South Central Conference is Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont head coach Rod Ashman, who will be one of six coaches to be honored for earning his 100th victory. Ashman followed up a school-record 28-win season in 2011 by guiding EBF to a 25-11 record last summer which culminated by nearly dethroning Davis County in the district finals. The Mustangs had to rally from a 4-0 deficit to earn a 5-4 win in nine innings over the Rockets.

Before nearly knocking off Davis County in the district finals, Ashman and the Rockets had to go through another new member of the ‘100 win’ club. Chad Scott led Van Buren to yet another great season as the Warriors went 26-2 for the second straight season, retained their Southeast Iowa Superconference south title, and entered the postseason ranked sixth in Class 2A.

Scott is 114-20 over five seasons as head coach of Van Buren, leading the Warriors to within a win of the Class 2A state baseball tournament in his first year. Van Buren finished 19-7 in that first season with a loss in the substate finals to Solon and have lost just nine regular season games in the past four years.

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