If you listen to veteran New Berlin coach Tom Farina, he really didn't have a lot to do with the Vikings' success this year.
But the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association and the NOW Newspapers staff have different opinions, as he not only was the NOW All-Suburban Coach of the Year, but also the All-State Coach of the Year.
"I appreciate the honors," Farina said. "I'm not the most comfortable getting the honors. But this is a team award."
Then he pointed out why.
"No. 1, I have great assistants who help me out. They take the time to do the individual things working with the outfielders, infielders, catchers and pitchers. They work together as a group.
"That's my my strongest suit, delegating. I let them do their job, the kids buy in, the coaches buy in. I let them do it with their own fashion, their own style. When we work, we work. When it's time to enjoy, we enjoy; like we play music all through batting practice. We give them a good atmosphere to be a part of. "No. 2, if the kids don't do their jobs on field and take care of business, it doesn't matter what kind of coach you are. It's never about me. It's always about the kids."
Staff helps Farina
Here is a look at Farina's fourman coaching staff and his comments on each coach.
. Mike Neuens: Farina's 13-year assistant. He's coached freshmen, JV and has been a long-time varsity assistant. He coaches the outfield. "He's my 'go to' guy. I can call him day or night and discuss things. He's a huge part of my staff. He is what I stand for as a coach. You need that to be successful. I couldn't ask for a more loyal coach, greater guy and good friend.
"He protects me and keeps me from going into battle with an umpire. He is god-send to me. He's also in my age bracket, because the other coaches are pretty young.". Al Moroder: "He is in charge of catchers and takes care of the pitchers on a daily basis. He takes care of their bullpens. He was a catcher himself. So he is someone that can take care some of the special things with the catchers, like the blocking of balls, the framing on pitches. It also helps that he is a head coach in another sport (football). He understands what I need to do."
. Ben Pariler: A former player from 2004-06, he helps with the outfielders. "He was the most solid defensive outfielder we ever had. He has a lot of good knowledge. He is also young enough to go out and demonstrate. He came through the program as a freshman and JV coach."
. Vince Farina: "It has been so much fun to be able to coach with my son. It is enjoyable for me. Watching him grow as a coach has been fun. He actually did listen to me growing up. He does a good job with the infielders on positioning and how to read to play."
It's a successful combination. "Collectively we work together as group, we see eye-to-eye, talk in dugout, in practice," Farina said. "We know our strength and weaknesses and play to it."
Players tip cap to coach
If you ask his players, though, the modest Farina has a lot to do with their success.
"He is such a mentor; he always says we're a family," said first baseman Andy Knoll. "We talked about problems. Coach Farina is great for us. He makes it so much fun. No matter how it's going, winning or losing, he stresses to have fun.
"He is great for us mentally. He's never down about anything. If we are doing bad, he found a way to pick us up. What he does, is help us get the job done."
But in the end, Farina keeps deflecting the praise for the seventh straight Woodland title, the 2013 regional and sectional titles and the first state baseball championship in the school's history. "I can't say enough about the kids," he said. "I've had some fun runs in13 years. It's something to look back to all the kids that have been through the program and they were all a part of it (state title).
"That was huge for the school, huge for our conference, which doesn't always get its do. It was a special year for our conference. It was noticed by people and that good for our conference."