CROSBY -- First-year head softball coach Larry Scott was destined to be the Crosby-Ironton Rangers new man in charge.
It started with his first softball coaching experience while student teaching at Sartell High School. He was under the direction of C-I graduate and former Ranger athlete Ken Brady, who is Sartell's head softball coach .
"I never really thought about it until Ken Brady offered me the job down in Sartell to coach eighth-grade girls," Scott said about coaching softball. "So I did that and I sat on the bench with him any time I could during a varsity game. I learned a lot from him. He's a pretty good softball coach and runs a pretty good program. He basically got me pretty interested in the sport.
"I played high school baseball so there's that connection, even though there are things that are different."
"It's always been a goal of mine to be a head softball coach. I wasn't overwhelmed at first but then the season started and I found out all the things that go along with the head coaching job." -- Larry Scott Crosby-Ironton softball coach
Scott, originally from Nebraska, moved to Minnesota in 1989 to go to school at St. Cloud State University. He student taught at Sartell and was also a paraprofessional for two years before accepting the eighth-grade geography teaching position in the Crosby-Ironton district.
He's coached seventh-grade boys' basketball, junior high football and junior varsity softball before landing his head coaching position for the Rangers.
"I've always loved sports and I love to teach so it's kind of a hand in hand thing," said Scott.
"It's always been a goal of mine to be a head softball coach. I wasn't overwhelmed at first but then the season started and I found out all the things that go along with the head coaching job.
"You're not just worrying about your own girls, you're worrying about seventh grade through 12th. You're worried about the junior high teams and the B squad, bus schedules, practice schedules and getting everyone coordinated. So far it's been a little rough but we're starting to smooth the edges out a little bit."
Despite a slow start that finds his team in a 1-5 hole, the Rangers did win their first game last week at Park Rapids. Right away Scott told his team his main goal was for the team to make it to the state tournament.
"I had a couple of informational meetings so the first day of practice was good," said Scott. "We sat and talked about my philosophy and what I wanted and things I hoped to accomplish. I wanted to set a tone right away the first day.
"As far as softball I prefer my teams to be more of a defensive team. I don't stress hitting as much as most coaches do, trying to be an offensive team. I prefer to pitch well and play good defense and that will keep you in most games.
"I know one of the first things that I did when I had our schedule printed out -- I put the state tournament dates on there. They have to think that way. To not think that way is setting yourself up for failure to not succeed. You have small individual goals, but I think the ultimate is to play in the state tournament."
At 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds and with a graduating class of 512, Scott didn't see football or basketball as his sport; baseball was his game. Although he loves being around the diamond he said the best part about being a coach is the relationships.
"Not only does it give you something to do but you build relationships with people you play with and kids that you coach," said Scott. "That to me is the best part. Not necessarily the games or the competition but the relationships you build with the kids."
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