Renfroe’s coaching style key to Vikings’ success

Published 1:21 am Monday, June 1, 2009

I remember watching Chad Renfroe pitch in high school. He had an excellent fastball and a wicked curve that sometimes started at a batter’s head and broke over the plate or he started at the middle of home plate and let it nibble at the outside corner.

He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and appropriately signed a contract on the Fourth of July.

With the Red Sox, Renfroe saw some of the best talent the game could offer. He spent spring training watching Roger Clemens during his prime. Clemens had a legendary workout and challenged anyone to complete the workout for one week and he would pay them $5,000.

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No one was able to do it.

“I was in good shape, but I couldn’t do what he did,” said Renfroe.

So what does all of this mean?

Having been part of great talent, Renfroe knows the talent level he’s been dealt as the Symmes Valley Vikings’ baseball coach.

But the biggest thing he brings to the table is the discipline, hard work and no nonsense approach to the game. And his team reflects his coaching style.

In Renfroe’s two seasons, the Vikings have posted identical 17-3 records. They have won two Southern Ohio Conference titles and two sectional tournaments. After reaching the Division IV district finals last year, the Vikings won the district this season before losing 7-6 in eight innings to Toronto in the regional semifinals.

“You can’t expect your players to do things they’re not capable of. Those are things they can’t control. The things you can control are hard work and attitude,” said Renfroe.

Those were the kind of things he was taught at a young age by his father Chad Renfroe who works as his assistant.

In professional baseball, players who don’t work hard or exhibit poor attitudes get chewed out or cut loose. Renfroe isn’t afraid to apply the same consequences to his players, which might be the reason his players work hard and toe the line.

And win.

–– Sinatra ––

Jim Walker is The Ironton Tribune sports editor.