May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Father’s Day Sunday and in honor of dads, OC Sports Zone is planning a special tribute

Estancia baseball coach Kevin Conlin with his father and assistant coach Chris Conlin and Chris Conlin’s first grand-son River Frost, son of his daughter. (Photo courtesy Conlin family)

Father’s Day is Sunday, a day that we give thanks to the fathers who have had such a positive influence in our lives.

Fathers and sports.

Those two words seem to go together. We see the fathers at athletic venues throughout Orange County rooting for their daughters and sons who compete in sports and inspiring not just their own children, but others on the teams.

They are there to cheer and encourage. They make it a point to get off work and travel to games, whether they are in Orange County or as far away as Oxnard and win or lose, they are there at the end for a high five or a big hug.

For some of these fathers, their time to cheer on their children may be limited. For many athletes, their high school careers may be the end of their athletic careers.

But they certainly make the most of it and they have a lot of fun and have so many memories of a lifetime.

Other fathers will be following their sons and daughters in college and a select group will be rooting for their children to make it big in the professional ranks.

Some fathers, like former University High baseball coach Chris Conlin, join their sons coaching. Chris Conlin has helped out his son Kevin as Estancia’s head baseball coach. Chris used to coach Kevin when Kevin was a player at University.

So now, they have a very unqiue experience at Estancia, which was 17-12 this past season.

“It’s good just to spend time with my dad,” Kevin Conlin said in an interview in April. “We’re really close and to have him out here helping these young kids is a big thing for them too. It’s a lot of fun.”

We also see a number of fathers coaching their daughters and sons. Lou Simon of Beckman coaches his daughter Madison on the Beckman softball team and Tesoro boys basketball coach Steve Garrett coaches his son Kaden.

Northwood boys basketball coach Tim O’Brien used to coach his son Chris and Northwood baseball coach Rob Stuart used to coach his son Ely, an All-CIF player. Beckman baseball coach Kevin Lavalle coached his son Ryan Lavalle and Foothill baseball coach Vince Brown coached his son Dillon.

There are many other who have had that experience and there are also some former coaches, like Tom McCaffrey, a former coach with El Toro, providing encouragement and support for one of his sons, Kevin, who is now the baseball coach at Corona del Mar.

In honor of the fathers, we will be introducing you to some of them who we’ve had a chance to meet over the past year.

Some are coaches, some are fathers of baseball and softball players that you’ve seen in the stands or working the concession stands.

We believe you will find their stories inspirational and memorable.

We also want to wish the best to every father out there, including all those coaches who are father figures to many athletes.

Dads, Sunday is your day and you deserve the best. Please check back Sunday for our tribute to fathers on OC Sports Zone.

Happy Father’s Day!

-Tim Burt, ocsportszone; timburt@;ocsportszone.com