The history of baseball at ONW

Image 5-4-15 at 1.26 PM (5)ONW has a rich history of success for many of its academic and athletic programs. Academic achievements include First Robotics, science and math scholars, and a history of millions of dollars in scholarships throughout twelve years of existence

However, not many know the history of baseball at ONW.

In 2003, Dr. Gwen Poss hired Coach Jay Novacek as an English teacher and the head baseball coach.

The team was full of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with only two seniors. Therefore, the season was as everyone expected: poor. The team went 5-17 that season but not everyone was down, and coach Novacek had the challenge of keeping everyone bought-in.

“We went into every game expecting to win,” Novacek said. “We never played a game expecting to lose. If we were to think that then it would come true.”

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His words meant a lot to his athletes and despite their inexperienced roster they beat the number 1 team, Mill Valley, in the 2003 season, in a series of great last minute plays.

The next few years are a great example of good coaching and strategy by Coach Novacek. It marked the beginning of a legacy that will last as long as the school will.

Mr. Novacek recalled the seasons he coached from the point of view of a proud father watching his program grow.

“The next season we improved by 3 wins, and in two years we doubled that of our first year.”

The team was the regional runner-ups in the first two seasons.

During the first seven years that ONW competed in baseball, the program combined for an overall record of 70-79. They were the Regional Runner-Ups three times, and won the regional championship once, qualifying for the state tournament in 2009.

Image 5-4-15 at 1.26 PM (2)In 2010, Novacek accepted the Athletic Director position, and consequently gave the head coaching job to trusted friend and long time assistant coach Rick Setter.

“Coach Setter has been with me since the beginning. He has a great temperament about him, and he can think very clearly during games,” Novacek said.

After coaching the team for five years, Setter has settled in nicely to his new role.

“I felt like I was ready. I’ve coached baseball for a long time,” Setter said.

Under Setter, the team has gone 50-36. In 2013 the team advanced to the 6A state tournament.

The program has had 47 players win state baseball awards and honors and almost all of them won multiple times. 44 players were given scholarships to play baseball for a college.

The team has had one player enter into the MLB. In 2008, third baseman Nate Tenbrink was selected to
the Seattle Mariners in the 6th round of the MLB draft.

“Im very proud to see how far the program has come since its start and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish,” Novacek said.