July 13, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

New Santa Ana varsity baseball coach Louis Oakley looking to ‘return the favor’

Louis Oakley is excited to be leading Santa Ana’s varsity baseball team. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Santa Ana High School’s new varsity baseball coach Louis Oakley is looking forward to sharing some of the expertise he learned from other Orange County coaches along the way, including Scott Luke, Gary Fishel, Tim O’Donoghue and Vince Brown.

“I played a little bit of baseball at Villa Park and at Foothill,” Oakley said Tuesday after the Saints Orange Coast League game with Estancia. “Growing up, I was fortunate to have some really great mentors, coaches and teachers.

“I just kind of want to return the favor to some young adolescents who made need some guidance and some help and to support them.”

Oakley is a full-time math teacher at Santa Ana and took over the baseball program after David Silva retired as Saints coach following last season.

“My family has a lot of history here at Santa Ana, my grandparents went here, my father went here, my aunt taught here forever, so I bleed red and white and I love being in Santa Ana,” he said. “I just love these boys and being here.”

Oakley, 34, was the head junior varsity coach at Santa Ana last year. This season, the varsity team responded by starting 6-2-1 and winning the first two league games against St. Margaret’s. Santa Ana lost to Estancia 8-1 on Tuesday in the first of a two-game series.

“They asked me to take the head role and I was more than happy to,” he said. “The goals for the program are to create young men that hold themselves accountable for the things that they say and do and beyond baseball, we just want to create a family feel here at Santa Ana. It’s one of the most famous sports high schools in Orange County and I want to try and bring some of that pride to this baseball program.

“I’m excited to be here and excited that I have this group of boys because they’ve been working very hard.”

The Orange Coast League race is expected to be competitive. Costa Mesa (3-0) leads the league with Estancia and Santa Ana next at 2-1 in the second week of the season.

“I tell our boys that as long as we play with a Santa Ana chip on our shoulder and we go in confident, we can beat anybody,” Oakley said.

The Saints next game is Friday at 3:15 p.m. at Estancia.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com