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Good vibes propel CdM

Resilient Sea Kings, whose coach resigned Tuesday, win first two games with Jelnick at the helm.

April 02, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
  • Estancia's Jessica Salamanca, right, steals second as Corona del Mar's Kate Thompson tries to apply the tag Saturday.]
Estancia's Jessica Salamanca, right, steals second… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — The day started with a trip the Corona del Mar High softball team didn't think it would have to make.

Someone left the sprinklers on overnight at the Sea Kings' field, leaving it drenched and unplayable Saturday morning. The nonleague doubleheader against Estancia would have to be moved to the Eagles' field.

Once the Sea Kings got to Estancia, they made themselves at home. They crushed the ball to earn a pair of victories, first 17-7 in five innings, then 21-14 in eight innings.

At least one person in attendance said he liked the football type of scores. He was the guy down the third-base line for CdM.

Former CdM athletic director Jerry Jelnick is stepping in as head coach for the Sea Kings. Athletic Director Don Grable said John Felicetti, who was in his third year at CdM, resigned Tuesday night for personal reasons. Felicetti did not return a phone call Saturday.

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Jelnick, a physical education teacher and longtime coach at CdM, has never coached softball at the school. He has recently been the freshman football coach for the Sea Kings, in addition to helping Grable as an assistant athletic director. Jelnick said he was also the CdM varsity baseball coach in the mid-to-late 1980s.

"Grable said, 'Hey, [the softball coaching job] is either you or I,' " Jelnick said. "I said, 'Well, I have some baseball background. Let me check with my wife.' She was supportive and I said I can help. I'm a team player. I've been at the school for a long time, and instead of saying we've got to disband the program or whatever, I'm willing to help out. Win or lose, it'll be fun, and the kids will learn. Hopefully they'll be able to grow as softball players."

CdM catcher Lindsey Susolik and pitcher Delaney Owen, both juniors, said this year there had been some tension on the team between Felicetti and some of the players. Susolik added that a member of Felicetti's family was having health issues, so that had been taking a lot of his attention.

"It's been a crazy week," Susolik said. "A lot of drama, to say the least. But Coach Jelnick is so uplifting. He allows us to push through the bad things that happen."

Susolik provided a good thing in the second game of the doubleheader. Her three-run homer in the second inning gave the Sea Kings a 7-0 lead. CdM (5-10) added another run before Estancia (3-11) mounted a comeback.

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