Coaching for 20 years, Tom Mauldin retired after Tuesday nights final game with Scappoose. Perhaps his greatest legacy as coach for Seaside will be the respectability he has brought to Seaside High School Softball, respectability that was brought about by an intense knowledge of the game and a keen ability to work with young people.
I've been coaching at SHS for 10 years, the last six as head coach," Mauldin says.
"Prior to that I coached in southern Oregon and California. All total, I've been a head coach or assistant coach for 20 years. The win over Tillamook early last week was my 201st as a head coach. I am a former All-America softball player and my Dad had a cup of coffee with the Washington Senators. Before that he barnstormed with Shoeless Joe Jackson in upper state South Carolina in the mid-1930s. Baseball/softball is in the blood."
This year has been bittersweet for Maudlin, though he would say it has been mostly sweet. Having a very skilled team at his disposal, and starting the season with the best record of any Seaside softball team in 20 years, the girls did not live up to their potential. Though they were not expected to beat Scappoose on Tuesday (Seaside has lost 55 straight games to the Indians), they did put up a good show for the first six innings, but the too-solid offense of Scappoose came through at the top of the seventh.
Mauldin was actually going to hang up his coaching uniform last year, but decided to stay one more year for heart-felt reasons.
"I was going to retire from coaching at Seaside last year (2005), but came back to coach the six seniors for their final year," he says.
"I'm glad I did that the 12 wins (13 if you count our three-inning 7-0 win over Taft) is most in many years at SHS. 2000 team won 11. 1998 won 12 - before that, you have to go back a very long way. Thirteen would be the most wins since late 1980s.
Persons who have coached as long as Mauldin have a lot of favorite moments, and Mauldin is no exception. A few of his were Allie Brady becoming one of the best bunters in the league, Monica Mitchell hitting a double over the Warrenton left fielders head, Brenna faking out runners on third with a fake throw to first, then tagging them out, and Ilsa striking out a batter on a change up.
"And of course, each year weve seem to beat a highly-ranked team," Mauldin adds.
"Terrific group of young ladies. Lots of care for teammates, lots of respect, lots of support from one another. Good relationship with coaches. The six seniors are Abby Frank (four-year varsity starter), Brenna Archibald, Ilsa McEwan, DJ Koch, Allie Brady and Jackie Bermingham. I've coached more talented teams in California and at Rogue River High, but not a better group of girls. It will be hard for me to say goodbye to them. They are special."