May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Tustin baseball coach enjoying more time with his son, a member of the team

Tustin baseball coach Charles Chatman talks with some of his players. (Photo courtesy Tustin baseball)

Like many high school baseball coaches in Orange County, Tustin High’s Charles Chatman is dealing with lots of uncertainty as he and others wait for next week’s ruling by the CIF State Office regarding the future of spring sports.

All athletics throughout the state have been haulted by the coronavirus crisis and many districts are closed through April, reducing the chances of spring sports resuming. CIF officials could, however, push back the final month of the season and allow for playoffs.

Chatman said all coaches are trying to stay hopeful but he is also realistic about chances of a resumption.

Chatman knows all his players want to get back on the field, including his son Charles “Tre” Chatman, a junior on the Tustin varsity team. His son plays second base and shortstop.’

So the the crisis has affected Coach Chatman in several ways.

“I have a junior in high school who is a baseball player who I see every day, so it hits home for me as a father and a coach,” Chatman said this week. “I get to be on both sides of it, but it’s unfortunate, but it’s our reality.

“So we have two choices. One is to kind of complain and pout and point fingers. The other is to deal with it and manage through it.”

Chatman said the additional time with his son has been valuable.

“I am enoying being a father and a husband,” he said. “We get caught up a lot being mentors and coaches and faciliators and all these different hats we have to wear being high school coaches, checking grades, making sure guys stay out of trouble, dealing with social media and all the things that go together with the responsibility of being a head coach.”

Chatman said his family is trying to deal with the crisis.

“We pray a lot,” Chatman said. “We’ve started some Bible study as a family and we’re trying to find some reason in all of this chaos and the best place to start whenever you’re searching for questions and the way we’ve been raised has always been the Bible. And the time has allowed us to kind of re-define our priorities. The priorities were this season and the school year and unfortunately that’s been put on hold.

“So now, it’s our responsibility to redefine what’s important. And for us, it’s been to re-establish that relationship that we haven’t necessarily had the ability to nurture. He’s a junior in high school and he’s also trying to play baseball and be a part of the team and all the things that go together with that.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve just been able to be father and son. It has really been great for us.”

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