Player’s absence made him unavailable to play


As head coach of the Terrebonne Parish Recreation West 8-year-old All-Star baseball team, I would like to respond to Kristi Cagle’s letter Sunday concerning her son’s selection to the team.

TPR Director Sterling Washington, Supervisors Gregory Harding, John Morgan and J.C. Dusenbery held tryouts on June 16-17. Washington made an announcement before tryouts that if anyone had vacation plans to not try out. TPR wanted 12 players at the state tournament.

On June 17, TPR officials selected 12 players (among 32). I was given the roster and called practice that afternoon. All 12 attended. After practice, Mrs. Cagle told me her son would be missing practice for one week because they had vacation plans with his father, who had been overseas for quite awhile, and their plane tickets were nonrefundable. I told her I had no problem with it. We practiced every day, and her son attended only the first practice.

On June 23, TPR told me birth certificate certification forms and release forms to be signed by parents were ready had to be returned by June 27 for the State Tournament credential meeting June 29.

On June 24, TPR informed me I needed to have a team picture turned in by June 27. I called the Cagle home several times with no answer.

On June 25 and 26, I discussed with TPR that Cagle had not returned from vacation, and I was facing a deadline for obtaining parent signatures and the team picture. Two options were discussed: lose Cagle as a player because of the deadline and play with 11 players, or replace him with another player from the tryouts. I made a decision (with TPR’s OK) to replace him and go to the tournament with 12 players.

On June 28-29, our team participated in a tournament in Belle Chasse. Late afternoon on June 29, Mrs. Cagle called me to tell me they were back in town, and I explained to her the situation of the deadline for forms and team picture. She was upset and I told her I understood.

As the coach of the team, I take responsibility for my actions. However, I believe Mrs. Cagle should take responsibility for not talking to the TPR director at tryouts and by not making her son available to meet the deadline by being out of town from June 18-29 (12 days, not one week as stated in her letter).