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Pete Waid
2800 S.W. 320th Street
Federal Way, Washington

The wait is over: Gators will play at state


The wait is over: Gators will play at state

Jun 01 2005
The Mirror

The Decatur fastpitch team rebounded from a crushing extra-inning loss to qualify for the school’s first-ever Class 4A State Championships. The Gators finished seventh at Friday and Saturday’s West Central/Southwest District Tournament at Spanaway’s Sprinker Recreation Center.

After losing a 1-0, eight-inning heartbreaker to North Kitsap in a game that would have given the Gators a berth into Friday and Saturday’s state tournament, Decatur bounced back to down Auburn, 5-4, Saturday in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.
The Gators, who had never won a game at the district tournament, finished with three victories in two days.
Decatur will take on Spokane’s University High School in the opening round of the state tournament Friday at 1 p.m. at Tacoma’s South End Recreational Center. University finished the regular season 21-3 and second in the Greater Spokane League behind Shadle Park, but won the District 8 regional championship. Much like the Gators, University features a pitching-dominated squad. The Titans are led by Linse Vlahovich, who enters state with an 18-2 record on the mound.
But Decatur also has a pretty good pitcher. Senior Rachael Painter proved why she has won the South Puget Sound League South Division Most Valuable Pitcher award for the last two seasons. The right-hander pitched every inning at the district tournament and turned in a number of dominant performances. However, Decatur’s road to state was anything but easy.

The Gators faced powerful Skyview in the first round Friday. They fell 3-0 to the eventual tournament champions, but responded with a 2-1 win over South Kitsap Friday night in a loser-out game. Painter was brilliant on the mound and sealed the victory with a sixth-inning RBI.

On Saturday morning, a refreshed Decatur squad knocked off Central Kitsap, 2-1, despite a lack of offensive firepower in another loser-out contest. Painter allowed just five hits and Kendal Nakashima went 2-for-4 with a double and the game-winning RBI in the fourth inning. The Gators were all smiles afterwards, but head coach Mike Painter wasn’t totally comfortable with their play.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” he said. “But fortunately we were able to get the win.”
Painter praised freshman Lindsey Bright for her aggressive baserunning and third baseman Kelsey Lusebrink for a timely, well-executed bunt.
Decatur continued its march up the Kitsap peninsula Saturday afternoon in a winner-to-state game. But North Kitsap pitcher Coreena Stout would not be denied and the Gators hitting drought continued. Stout and Painter combined to pitch 15 scoreless innings and allow just ten hits. Bright slapped a single to start off the top of the eighth, but Stout retired three Gators in a row and then won the game with a RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The game-winning runner reached base on a Decatur defensive error.
“This was a tough one to take,” Mike Painter said after the loss that dropped the Gators into the must-win game against Auburn. “We couldn’t hit near the end and committed some errors which may have cost us a trip to state. It’s really a difficult loss for Rachael. She threw her heart into it.”
Rachael Painter racked up a combined 26 strikeouts against Central and North Kitsap.
The Gators were tired, hot and disappointed, but there was no time for despair. Less than an hour later, Decatur took on Auburn in the must-win game. Painter gave up four runs on six hits, but the Gator bats finally came alive. Decatur connected on 14 hits and led 3-2 after three innings of play. But Auburn rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh and held a 4-3 advantage going into Decatur’s final at-bat.
Gator sophomore Katie Mask ripped a two-run double in the top of the seventh to put Decatur ahead for good. Bright went 3-for-4 with a double and Painter earned her 21st win of the season.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

High School Sports

Star Times all-area softball team


Front row, from left (Sitting): Amber Despain, Kentlake; Rachael Painter, Decatur; Dani Weir, Woodinville. Middle row, from left (standing): Rachael Sofie, Cascade; Dani Monson, Marysville-Pilchuck; Coach Sue Van Wyhe, Lake Stevens; Melissa Dubay, Auburn Riverside; Bailey Stenson, Auburn. Back row (top of glove): Erin Fisher, Woodinville; Kellyn Grote, Issaquah; Marnie Koziol, Liberty; Lindsay Boughton, Woodinville.

Rachael Painter
Decatur, P, Sr.

Rachael Painter

Decatur's only senior broke nearly every school pitching record in leading the Federal Way team to its first Class 4A state tournament. Her pinpoint location helped her compile a 21-5 record and 0.55 earned-run average this season. Opponents hit .130 against her, and the SPSL South MVP Pitcher struck out 279 in 177-2/3 innings this year. Painter is considering playing at Pacific Lutheran

DHS Sports Eligibility for the 2005 season: Please read!!!!

Decatur High School
Sports Eligibility
Revised 6/26/04
In order to participate in sports at Decatur you must:

Provide the DHS Athletic Director a current physical examination form - called "Preparticipation History and Physical Examination" form (valid for the first year of sports participation). The physical must extend through the duration of the sports season.
Provide the DHS Athletic Director a current Medical Emergency Authorization Form (also called a travel card).
Provide the DHS Athletic Director an Athletic Participation Form.
Have paid any outstanding athletic fees or fines.
Have purchased a Decatur ASB card.
Have attended school at least 15 weeks during the previous semester.
Live with one or both parents, or a legal guardian, within the boundaries of the Federal Way School District for at least one calendar year. Any exceptions to this must be dealt with case by case.
Have had no more than 4 consecutive years of athletic eligibility from the year the athlete entered 9th grade.
Academic Eligibility

To be eligible to compete in interscholastic competition, a student athlete must meet the following academic requirements:

Enrolled in at least four (4) full time credits for 6 period day; 5 for 8 period day.
Regularly attending class (no more than one absence in every six school days).
Earn a "C-" or better in each class the student athlete is enrolled in except for 1st 6 weeks grading period which requires a C- or better in each class, or a GPA of 2.6 and no F's.

Intra-District Tran. Policy Regarding Athletic Eligibilit

Intra-District Transfer Policy Regarding Athletic Eligibility

The following rules govern athletic eligibility of students transferring between schools within the Federal Way School District:

A.        A student residing outside the assigned attendance area must apply for enrollment      
through the existing “choice” procedure.

B.        An accepted “choice” student is eligible for Varsity and Sub-Varsity competition
when the transfer is from Middle School to High School.
C.        A student transferring from High School to High School is eligible for Sub-Varsity
competition only for one calendar year.

D.        Once a student starts a season (first practice) and transfers, he or she will be ineligible for Varsity competition for that sport.

E.        A program (IB, Horticulture, etc.) student transfer must continue in the program to
maintain Varsity eligibility.

F.   A District placed transfer (not “choiced’) will compete at the Sub-Varsity level.
G.        All transferring students must meet the eligibility standards stated in Section 18 of
the WIAA handbook and the Federal Way School District Athletic Code.

H.        A student may appeal his ineligibility by submitting a written request to the Athletic
Director of the receiving school explaining any extenuating circumstances. A hearing
will be scheduled with the Athletic Directors and one Administrator of the schools not involved in the transfer. If athletic eligibility is not granted, a final written appeal may be made to the District Athletic Administrator and a hearing will be scheduled.
The appeals board will consist of the District Athletic Administrator (or designee) and the two Principals not involved in the transfer. The decision of this appeal shall be final.

Note: This policy is modeled after Tacoma, Bethel, Puyallup, Auburn, and Kent.

2005 FEES - PLEASE READ - Athletic Participation Fee

July 18, 2003

TO:                Secondary Principals
                Athletic Directors
                Secondary Office Managers

FROM:        Mark Davidson

RE:                Athletic Participation Fee

The Board has not yet adopted the budget, however, as the beginning of the fall sports season is near it is important for you to have the details (see below) so that you can proceed.

·        ASB card fees will be increased by $10 at the high school level (total=$35) and $5 at the middle school level (total=$15). The additional money raised will be used to pay for officials’ fees. The line item entitled “athletics/activities” in the School Operating Budgets will show a reduction as a result.

·        At the high school level the fee will be $70 per sport. Students will be charged for a maximum of two sports ($140), so that it they turn out for three sports they will not pay a fee for the third sport.

·        At the middle school level the fee will be $40 per sport. Students will be charged for a maximum of three sports ($120), so that if they turn out for four sports they will not pay a fee for the fourth sport.

·        There will be no fee reduction for students for any reason because it is necessary to raise the full amount to meet the requirements of the budget.

·        Payment of this fee does not waive the requirement for participating students to purchase an ASB card.

·        Participants in dance/drill and cheer will not be required to pay the athletic participation fee because of the high costs that participants are already required to pay.

·        Sixth graders will not be charged a fee for participating, as their opportunities for competition will be very limited.

·        The fee will be collected as part of the eligibility process and will be completely refunded if the student is cut from the team.

·        If a student is injured and cannot participate or withdraws from school before the midpoint of the season a full refund will be granted, if requested. If this occurs after the midpoint of the season, a 50% refund will be granted, if requested.

·        Any student who quits the team or who is removed from the team due to inappropriate behavior or academic ineligibility will not be eligible for a refund.

·        Please remind students and their parents/guardians that payment of participation fees does not guarantee a spot on an athletic team, playing time or a letter award. All of the conditions of being a team member apply as if the fee did not exist—that includes playing time based on the coach’s decision.

·        Participation fees do not confer authority to make demands of the school related to the athletic department. Students, parents/guardians, coaches, teachers and administrators are all stakeholders in the day-to-day conduct of school sports. Paying the fee does not give the athlete or her/his parents a greater voice in how the program is operated. The school administration must maintain complete control, even if the program(s) depends on participation fees or outside contributions from other organizations such as booster clubs.

In 2004-05 fees will be as follows:

·        At the high school level the fee will be $105 per sport. Students will be charged for a maximum of two sports ($210).

·        At the middle school level the fee will be $70 per sport. Student will be charged for a maximum of three sports ($210).

Thank you.

C:                Tom Murphy
                Sally McLean
                Carol Matsui
                Judy Blakely
                Management Team
                Nancy Heavey
                Suzanne Harris
                Chris Popich        

Friday, December 19
Point of interest, when being recruited by college coaches:



We have received many, very thoughtful comments on our recruiting essay, and want to share some of them with you. SPY obviously triggered a good deal of introspection and that is a very positive sign.   I got a few emails from parents who said that college coaches (Patty Gasso was named by one) did not promise the rainbow, but in fact offered good playing time in a limited role – and kept their word to help the player develop. Roanna Brazier of Ohio University was particularly complimented for devoting the entire first day of a site visit to determining an appreciation for the academic side – which I know is not the first port of call on many site visits.

Several players, travel ball coaches and parents complained about coaches who try to change every aspect of a player’s game – making the player wonder why she was recruited in the first place – and why she wasn’t told that the college coaches had so many criticisms of her game.

Several players and parents sent us stories about the problems a player encounters when that iconic coach or a prized assistant leaves – and the new coaches want to remake the player. This is particularly disturbing to incumbent players; again they ask, if everything I do is wrong, why was I recruited? (Ed note: from several such missives, we conclude there have been some very serious communication problems when changes have been made in the coaching staffs.)

Several players and parents complained about coaches ardently pursuing the player with calls, emails, even home visits, then, suddenly, some cancel a planned visit saying they are no longer interested, or simply stop communicating with the player. (I frankly wonder if some coaches stop to ponder how their hot/cold behaviors impact upon a player, who is, after all, a child somewhere along the path to womanhood – and as vulnerable as a thin reed in a flood.)

A Parent. Enjoyed your essay very much - most of what you say is so true.
But you never said a word about the likelyhood of a coach staying at the
school after she brings in your daughter.

My daughter accepted a scholarship at a D-1 school in California and the
coach that told her "you will be my catcher for the next four years", is now
twice removed. They are now on their third coach in three years and my
daughter has left the team. Each succeeding coach brings in "their own
players" (the second coach brought in two catchers), and softball just
ceased to be fun anymore. My daughter simply decided she wanted to be a
college student ONLY and frankly, she is enjoying every minute of it. It was
time to move on.

Loyalty works both ways. Though there is never a guarantee that a coach will
stay at a school forever, it is definitely something to consider. Coaching
changes often have very damaging impacts on all of the players.

A Parent said he attributes his daughter’s success in softball and academics to the fact that they were told exactly what her situation would be when recruited – a process which also included meetings with academic administrators.

A Travel Ball Coach. This is a very good article filled with solid observations and good advice. I will try to retain some of this information for the betterment of myself. I hope that most players, parents, and coaches I come into contact have the privilege to read it. I will probably hand it out during our team meeting with existing and potential players and parents

A Parent whose daughter played in every game last college season – and who praises the coaches for supporting her athletically and academically – advises that the girl is no longer playing because her grades went down and she made the difficult decision about why she was in college in the first place.

An Assistant Coach: I can only hope for the sake of softball that parents as well as players and coaches read it and take it all in because that is how the softball world has changed just as you have said. Thank you for recognizing and reitterating what softball is all about.

A Parent. My daughter stayed on her reg team and told other teams that she could not leave her coach and team in the lurch by leaving to pastures that really ended up being much greener. But, that was her choice and her old travel coach still tells people her story.

A College Coach. Travel ball coaches and parents should be aware that we take note of team jumping year after year, and our reaction is usually negative. Transferring to a championship caliber travel ball team is understandable, if it results in the player being more heavily recruited, especially for players who are on dead-end teams. Still, a girl who moves two-three times in two-three years will be asked probing questions.

A Parent whose daughter chose another school still thanks Carol Hutchins for a frank discussion of the academic load at Michigan which enabled them to determine their daughter would not prosper there.

A Manager at the younger levels. I'm the president of a travel ball club in So Cal and we have both 10U and 12U teams. I can completely see why many girls end up having the assortment of problems you describe based on how their parents "manage" their careers at the 10 and 12 level. Many of the things you describe occur at this younger level relative to parents. Most common with the youngsters is an inability for parents to objectively assess their player's ability and their unwillingness to let the player develop naturally. These parents want college level performance at 10 and 12 years old. If the girls are unable to perform at the totally unrealistic level they expect, the common refrain is that there must be something wrong with the coaching. This may sound cliché, however I think it's important that coaches and players remember that this is a game that may be useful in teaching life skills, but is supposed to be fun. Even at the 10 and 12 level, parents are making this game about future college scholarships that we all know 90% of these girls will never get. Every year, bit by bit, this game is not fun anymore for the girls.

A Parent. Too many of these parents need to realize that when you make a commitment to any team whether it be softball, basketball, track or the other S sport (Soccer) you need to be loyal to that sport and not playing on the indoor outdoor soccer team, or AAU basketball or club volleyball. You truly cannot do all of them at the same time. It is so frustrating to watch girls completely devote their life to softball and then have to share it with those girls I will call the "Drop In - Social Butterflies" that think they can fly into this practice and then flutter by to the other sport in the middle of your practice and then merge back into the third team for that big tournament. Pick one thing at a time and do it good and do it great and be a team player that can be counted on.

A Grandparent. My granddaughter is not really focused on softball, as talented as she is, and this is causing some controversy in the family. My daughter & her husband are trying to impress on my granddaughter the importance of becoming more focused because of the college opportunities that being a good softball player opens up. My advise, reluctantly given, is for them to "back off" before they drive her away from softball. (SPY: I concur; if she is competing as actively as you indicate, the fires are still lit but perhaps banked. Only the player can raise her game to the next level.)

A Softball Administrator. Out there with all the players and parents, giving seminars, Ive learned again so many of our players are not making good decisions based on what they want but what their parents want. Some parents, not all, are living through their children and pushing them to accept offers which only make them fail. I not only stress education , committment, but this is a good time to have family communication and as parents we not only talk, but listen to what our children are saying.

A Parent. Loyalty is a quality that will take a person far in life. In career,
marriage etc. Unfortunately we are living in a society which strives for and
celebrates "The Better Deal". I think I'll print this one out and tape it to
the fridge to read often. Thanks for putting things into perspective.

A Parent. I felt as if the college coaches were playing a game I personally did not want to play. One such coach had recruited my daughter this summer. They scheduled a visit. The coach later called and told my daughter that she had changed her mind and was no longer interested in her. That was fine. She was a little disappointed. Then the coach called back telling her she had changed her mind again wanting to reschedule the visit. That was very emotional for my daughter. The coach my daughter ended up committing to was honest from the beginning. She didn’t play the “game”. She gave her an offer and let her make a knowledgeable decision. This school ended up being the best for her in every aspect.

A Parent. Your article on “Integrity in Recruiting” was absolutely fantastic and an article that needed to be written. I hope a lot of people take a good long look at their self in the mirror and say “could this be me?” When you see teams in trouble and ready to implode the parents are usually at the root of it. I hate to say it but I have seen it all too often…. While you are right there are some college coaches out there that do bring on their own problems, we all need to keep ourselves in check and realize this is their job.

A Parent. Your article "INTEGRITY IN RECRUITING" is probably one of the best editorials I have read in a very long time. It made me, as a parent sit back and think about some of the things I do. I'll have to admit that I have been a little guilty of some of your examples. In the future I will think about your article before I open my mouth.


A Parenting Lesson. I truly enjoyed reading the articles regarding college recruitment and the pushing that goes on between parents and coaches. As a parent/coach, I pushed my daughter from an early age to become a pitcher in order to obtain the elusive college scholarship. We went the standard route, she played 18 A at 14, proceeded to Gold with a domineering Gold coach, hit the exposure tournaments, in short: my daughter did everything that was asked of her. When she was a junior in high school, her Mom, not a big softball supporter, took her on a visit to the University of (blank), upon which my daughter became enamored of. Needless to say, when we started getting calls from other schools, the look on my daughters face at the prospect of having to go to a school which was not her first choice was disturbing. She had sent a skills tape to (blank), but the coach left and the new coach had other players in mind. Knowing that she would not play in (blank), she decided that was want she wanted to do and it was the best thing for her.It was tough on me, but after all she did I could not force her to go to a school she was not going to enjoy just because of softball. I think I learned too late that the important thing was going to college, not getting caught up in getting recruited at the expense of our children's happiness.

Sports Sponsorship Summary. This is taken from an NCAA web

Sports Sponsorship Summary. This is taken from an NCAA web site.
Division I, II and III NCAA Softball schools.   
There are 261 Division I schools that play fast pitch.
There are 253 Division II schools that play fast pitch.
There are 385 Division III schools that play fast pitch.
That is a total of 899 schools. That is not counting the NAIA schools or the Jr. College schools that play fast pitch. All these schools are looking for you to play for them.   

Below are NCAA Div. I, II and III total schools that play soccer and fast pitch. There are more schools that play fast pitch than play woman's soccer.

Soccer   D-I 287, D-II 200, D-III 392,        Total NCAA 879                                   
Softball D-I 261, D-II 253, D-III 385,        Total NCAA 899

Monday, August 23
Decatur High School 2004 All Games & Final Stats:


DECATUR FASTPITCH 2004 FINISHES IN 2ND PLACE IN THE SPSL: 13 wins - 5 loses. Total pre, regular & post season game stats for 2004 * 15 wins - 9 loses = 24 total games.

PRE SEASON GAMES 2004:        
Wednesday, March 17   W Decatur 6 - Stadium 5
Wednesday, March 17   L Decatur 0 - South Kitsap 4   

Tuesday, March 23    L Decatur 1 - Federal Way 2 in 8 innings
Monday, March 29      L Decatur 6 - Jefferson 10
Tuesday, March 30    W Decatur 5 - Beamer 1
Wednesday, March 31   L Decatur 5 - Curtis 15        
Friday, April 2       W Decatur 13 - Spanaway Lake 3
Monday, April 5              L Decatur 1 - Bethel 2
Tuesday, April 6      W Decatur 1 - Emerald Ridge 0
Monday, April 12      W Decatur 4 - Rogers 1         
Tuesday, April 13    W Decatur 8 - Puyallup 2
Friday,        April 16      W Decatur 2 - Jefferson 0        
Tuesday, April 20    W Decatur 9 - Beamer 0
Wednesday, April 21   L Decatur 3 - Curtis 4 in 8 innings        
Thursday, April 22    W Decatur 5 - Federal Way 0
Friday,        April 23      W Decatur 2 - Spanaway Lake 1        
Tuesday, April 27    W Decatur 7 - Bethel 0        
Thursday, April 29    W Decatur 3 - Emerald Ridge 1
Tuesday, May 4              W Decatur 3 - Rogers 2 10 innings
Thursday, May 6              W Decatur 3 - Puyallup 1

Wednesday, May 12    L DECATUR 0 - Enumclaw 4
Wednesday, May 12    W DECATUR 3 - Bethel 0
Friday, May 14       L DECATUR 0 - Rogers 1
Saturday, May 15      L DECATUR 1 - T.J. 6

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