07/25/09 — Reaves era ends, coach taking family to Cornhusker State

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Reaves era ends, coach taking family to Cornhusker State

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 25, 2009 11:01 PM

Brad Reaves realized the inevitable long before the final out had been penciled in the scorebook against Edenton Post 40.

The seven-year Wayne County Post 11 baseball coach had accepted the realization his team would not repeat as Area I champion nor return to the N.C. Senior American Legion state tournament.

And Reaves accepted the fact he had coached his final game in North Carolina. A former player in one of the state's most-storied Legion programs, Reaves has accepted a coaching job in Beaver City, Neb. He'll teach science, and oversee the softball and golf teams.

"When I took the (Legion) job, I intended on staying until they fired me," said Reaves. "Sometimes you have to put your family first, and I've got a situation where I can do something better for my family. I am going to miss it ... not going to lie to you.

"We're trying to do something better for us and I don't know what's going to happen in this economy."

Reaves' exodus came on the heels of an 11-9 season.

Wayne County finished third in Area I East South Division play and lost its opening-round series to Edenton. It was the third time during Reaves' tenure that Post 11 failed to advance past the opening round in Area I East postseason play.

"I had started to think a little bit before that (last out) because I knew that was it," said Reaves, a Southern Wayne graduate. "We just couldn't get anything going. I thought about the boys I had in the program.

"It's tough knowing you won't coach kids like that any more. You don't run across kids like that very often."

Wayne County teams compiled a 133-57 record with Reaves calling the shots in the third-base coach's box. Three squads advanced to the state tournament, including the 2007 club which lost to perennial power Cherryville Post 100 in the championship game.

Reaves' successor has not been named.

Post 11 officials will also search for an athletic officer to handle the paperwork and day-to-day operations that include bus travel, expenses and other business tasks.

"I think they will do all they can to keep it going," said Reaves. "It's a matter of finding the right fit in that athletic officer spot and that's really the key. Sonny (Wooten) and John (Gourley) have done a super job the last two years. When Mr. (Ken) Short died, that was a big blow.

"Ken Plummer did all he can do. It would be good to find someone who didn't have a personal stake in it."