Rancho coach Ogston: Local teams just as good as Bay Area teams

Posted by: Press Democrat correspondent Dewey Forget

A recent conversation with Rancho Cotate baseball coach Jeff Ogston got around to the quality of baseball in the Redwood Empire.

Ogston, who coaches the under-18 Sonoma County Rebels, says the idea that local teams don’t have the talent or measure up with East Bay teams, or Bay area teams in general, is pure hog-wash. Ogston points out that each year the Rebels travel to tournaments outside Sonoma County and are more than competitive.

“I don’t think we get the recognition we deserve,” he said. “Last year we finished third out of 32 teams in a Southern California tournament, and fifth out of 22 teams in San Diego.”

Ogston said when the Rebels first played the East Bay teams, they may have been a little intimated, but no longer. And, remember the Rebels are made up of players from many of the Sonoma County schools. “It took them a little while to realize they belonged on the same field,” Ogston said.

Ogston, who gets the Cougars into the North Coast Section playoffs nearly every year, also was quick to point out that local teams have played well against the Bay Area.

“Look at Casa Grande They’ve played four or five teams from the East Bay and held their own. Cardinal Newman barely lost to Bishop O’Dowd with their best pitcher on the mound,” Ogston concluded.