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Prep softball: Rodig leads Eagles' rebuilding stage

March 01, 2002

Steve Virgen

COSTA MESA - Marc Rodig is planning to change the reason for the

downfall of an all but forgotten Estancia High softball program. Rodig,

in his first year coaching the Eagles, says inconsistency of leadership

has been the cause for Estancia's lack of productivity in recent years.

The Eagles' first-year head man anticipates to become a coaching

veteran for Estancia softball, which went 0-10 in the Pacific Coast

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League last year.

"It's been difficult to have something established because there's

been inconsistency, too much turnover," said Rodig, who teaches English

at Estancia. "That's why I want to put some time in here and build

something. Some consistency in the program would be huge. In this first

year I want to establish a winning tradition and dedication to the

program, which has kind of been left on its own."

Rodig spent the past two years as an assistant coach of softball and

football at Gahr High in Cerritos. The Gahr softball team went undefeated

in the San Gabriel Valley League two years ago, and had just one loss in

league last year. The Gladiators also earned a second round appearance in

the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs last year.

Rodig also coached football and softball at Laguna Beach High for two

years, prior to Gahr. He will coach the Estancia receivers and defensive

backs on Jay Noonan's coaching staff in the fall.

But, this spring, the softball team is all Rodig is focusing on. He

will not have a junior varsity team, so his varsity squad will consist of

14 players, which features a strong junior core and three freshmen who

are ready to rebuild the program.

Gaby Acosta, a returner who will play catcher, is one of the leaders

for the Eagles and will be supported by Karleen Curran, who will play

first base and some centerfield, freshman right-handed pitcher Hillary

Ockey, sophomore shortstop Rebecca Kaplan and senior centerfielder

Rebecca Zenus. Sophomore Asia Ingram, who also played soccer, is the

team's only other sophomore aside from Kaplan.

Junior Xochitl Byfield, who starred on Estancia's PCL co-championship

basketball team, will also be a part of the rebuilding process, along

with fellow juniors Laura Morton (third base) and Vivian Laopantrak (left

field).

Freshmen Hillary Larsen and Siena Arellanes, along with Ockey are

anxious to contribute and gain as much experience as possible in their

first year. For stability in the fundamentals, the Eagles will depend on

their seniors, Daisy Limon, Marlene Marquez, Melanie Tanielu, Kathy

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