Posts Tagged ‘Christian Brothers High School’

RIP Rusty Cavataio

January 20, 2012

Well, I see that I could have taken that subject field in a couple different ways. RIP Rus-tie Cavataio, or RIP Rusty Cava-tie-o. Either of those would have been pretty basal. Way too common for perhaps my favorite coach.

Over the years, I have liked most of my coaches. In fact, I can’t think of a bad one. Oh, wait, there’s one. Ah. And another. No matter, this isn’t about them, the not-so-great coaches. Some of my coaches were my PE teachers. Since I played soccer (British eq.: football), I’ve definitely had the most of that flavor. But, I’ve had football coaches, baseball coaches, basketball coaches, cheerleading coaches (oh yes he di-id), swimming coaches, a tennis coach and probably a golf coach for a lesson or two.

Many of these coaches were with me for longer than a season, being teachers at my various schools. The one that stands out for me was rather a flash in the pan, at least to me. Coach Rusty Cavataio was in his first year at Christian Brothers High School, and he took over the JV baseball team. He made our team so much fun that we became almost unbeatable. Well, that’s an untrue statement, since we lost our first game, to a varsity team. We only lost 1 more game all season, going something like 23 & 2. I think we said it was an exhibition, but, really, aren’t all JV games exhibitions?

Anyway, as a side note, I’ll take you to the bottom of the 7th (the last inning) of that first game. We were getting crushed. 14-zip. I get tabbed to go pinch-hit to lead off and start our rally. First pitch, I swing. I’m so far from hitting it, it’s a joke. Second pitch, a curve ball that doesn’t curve. I somehow remember to duck the beanball attempt. Somehow it calms me, and I give a little butt-shake. Third pitch, I hit the holy living shit out of the ball to left field. We weren’t playing on a field with a wall, but it would have gone over any wall in baseball. I could have run around twice, it rolled so far. 14-1, and in my high school baseball career, I’m 1-for-1 with a dinger. Should’ve retired. Glad I didn’t.

And, thus concludes the glory days portion of today’s 100D100T. Back to Stump, which is what we called the 5’6″ (being generous) Coach Cavataio. Coach was so great to all of us, cussin’ and teasin’…it really was the most fun team I’ve ever been on. After Coach’s obit was posted on Facebook, a couple of other ball players mentioned his famous drill. We had to hold a small rectangular piece of wood in our glove hand, and he would screech grounders to us on a parking lot. We had to learn to field with our other hand, too, pinching the ball with both hands and our ‘mitt.’ We weren’t able to stop until the whole team cleanly fielded grounders all in a row. Amazing team builder. I really am surprised one of us didn’t go out and play an inning with one of those boards in our hand. We…our team…would have done that for Coach. I’d have loved to have told him how much I’ve thought of that drill over the years. When I go back later this fall for my 25th high school reunion, I’m sure there will be many stories told about that season.

Anyway, my Tie du Jour is bedecked in CBHS  purple and gold (we are the purple wave). Although I’m thinking Coach abhorred wearing ties (he seemed much more comfortable in those BIKE coaching shorts), he may have given in to these colors. Rest in Peace, Coach Cavataio…Godspeed.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

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