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
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