Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

June 16, 2013

Field of memories

Calloway looks back after 36 seasons as Western's coach

(Continued)

“I liked the local kids playing against each other instead of going to Indianapolis or Fort Wayne or all over to play. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.”

Calloway noted how schools or various teams occupy so much of a young player’s summer.

“I think there comes a time when a kid needs to be a kid. They’re at a time now where you’re in one season, then in another, then another. I think [the IHSAA and schools] got tired of dealing with it and washed their hands of it. I think they sort of said [to coaches] you do your thing and now everybody thinks they have to do it or be left behind.”

Q: You’ve coached about the same number of years under the open and class sports systems. What are your thoughts on those?

A: “It doesn’t really affect me, or our teams too much. I don’t like it. I like playing the best people you can. If you’re going to have a champion, make sure it’s a champion over everybody. We came close two times in non-class to make the state finals. One break or two, we probably could have made it.

“I’ve always enjoyed the challenge — make you work harder, motivated you more. I’d like to see it go to one class but it won’t. There’s too many people that don’t want to see it.”

Q: Who was your favorite ballplayer growing up?

“I was a Mickey Mantle fan. I grew up a Mickey fan. Micky was mine. My brother [Mike, two years younger] was Duke Snider. I was always a Yankee fan growing up, still am.”

Q: Other than playing a home game, what’s your favorite ballpark to visit as a coach?

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