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Camarillo High baseball coach John Gonzalez steps down

Ventura County Star logo Ventura County Star 6/24/2020 Loren Ledin, Ventura County Star
a baseball player holding a bat: John Gonzalez has resigned as Camarillo High's head baseball coach but he will continue to teach at the school. © CONTRIBUTED PHOTO John Gonzalez has resigned as Camarillo High's head baseball coach but he will continue to teach at the school.

What John Gonzalez treasures most is just coaching his guys.

"What's important to me is to have a positive impact on my players," he said. "I love it when former players come up to me and tell me what a good time they've had playing baseball. Wins and losses come and go. But the impact you have on players as they move forward in life never ends."

After 16 seasons in the Camarillo High baseball program, including the last eight as the head coach, Gonzalez announced recently he is stepping down.

The time is simply right, he said.

"It's time to take a little breather and refresh," he said. "It's mostly the opportunity to spend more time with my family. It's something I've thought about for awhile at the end of seasons. I'll always fire myself, but then get ready for the next season.

"Now I feel it's time to step aside."

Gonzalez, 38, will continue as a chemistry teacher at Camarillo. He definitely doesn't rule out a return to coaching in the future.

"I love Camarillo High. I love the baseball program," he said. "You'll definitely see me around the games. I know the program will be in good hands with (principal) Matt LaBelle and (athletic director) Mary Perez choosing the next coach."

In Gonzalez's eight season as the head coach, Camarillo baseball finished 128-78, with seven winning seasons and three league championships. The Scorpions finished 26-6 in 2018 and reached the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

"There are so many good memories," Gonzalez said. "It's hard to pinpoint any one thing. I do know the losses tend to stick with me more than anything else."

a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: In his eight seasons as head coach, John Gonzalez led the Camarillo High baseball program to a 128-78 record and three league titles. © CONTRIBUTED PHOTO In his eight seasons as head coach, John Gonzalez led the Camarillo High baseball program to a 128-78 record and three league titles.

He said he has savored every minute as the head coach.

"It can be a grind being a head coach," he said. "But the good feelings about everything else is what's really important. I enjoyed the games, I enjoyed going to practice every day and helping the guys prepare."

Gonzalez and his wife Lorna have two sons, ages 8 and 4. 

Moopark's pool search

Moorpark High's aquatic program was seemingly left, well, high and dry when their home pool at Fitness19 in Moorpark was permanently closed down by the gym owners.

The Musketeers have already rebounded.

Athletic director Rob Dearborn said the school is close to a deal to use the pool at Cal Lutheran University for its water polo games and practices. He also said the deal also likely will cost less than the fees at Fitness19.

"We're happy," he said. "This will work out fine."

The city of Moorpark remains without a pool that can be used by the school and by residents.

A group called the Moorpark Community Aquatic Center is lobbying to have a state-of-the-art pool built adjacent to the high school at Arroyo Vista Community Park.

Dearborn said the school is "on board" with the project, but notes that the current plans call for a pool that might cost upwards of $12 million.

"I don't know where that money would come from," he said. "It might be more feasible just to build a high school pool."

History at St. Bonaventure

Newly hired St. Bonaventure High boys basketball coach Wolfgang Wood and administrators at the school made a bit of history Tuesday.

More: Wolfgang Wood named head coach of St. Bonaventure High boys basketball program

It's believed to be the first time that a new coach in Ventura County was introduced via a live Zoom session.

Among the highlights:

Wood acknowledged the responsibility that goes with being a Black American head coach at age 26.

"I know that my job is more than being about basketball," he said. "It's turning boys into men as they go forward in life. It's about teaching lessons that they can use in life."

The son of former NBA player Leon Wood and former UCLA player Tia Wood said he learned key lessons growing up.

"My sister (Whitney) also played at Seton Hall," she said. "I would say the most important thing I've learned from them is to work hard for everything. You need to earn everything you want."

He chuckled at the recollections of family basketball games in Orange County.

"We had a pullaway basket in our driveway," he said. "Let's just say that I didn't win too many of those games. As I got older, I got dad a couple times although he probably won't admit that."

Loren Ledin is the Prep Editor for The Star. He can be reached at loren.ledin@vcstar.com or 805-437-0285.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Camarillo High baseball coach John Gonzalez steps down

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