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PHS baseball: Levi Webber

Philomath coach Levi Webber communicates with his players during a game against Sweet Home.

While covering sporting events, it can be fun to listen to what coaches have to say during a ballgame. Most coaches have an intense level of competitiveness built into their DNA. They had it as athletes themselves and they continue to enjoy such battles as coaches.

PHS baseball coach Levi Webber fits the mold. Levi was a notable athlete in his younger days as one of the top high school players in the state. He went on to play major college baseball and even got a shot at the pros.

As a coach, Levi's one of those guys who is straight with his players. During ballgames, they'll often huddle about midway through the game in between innings for a short lesson on what needs to happen for the Warriors to win the ballgame. After the games, he meets with players down the right-field sideline to share his insight on what they did right, what they did wrong and what's coming up (although this didn't happen Wednesday evening because he had to drag the infield in preparation for a JV game).

Although it's impossible to not notice coaches' chatter during games, I tend to leave them alone during their postgame meetings with players. Sure, I'm usually lurking on the fringes waiting to do interviews, but I don't eavesdrop on their conversations. That's a moment for coaches and players to be honest with one another without worry of a media-type picking up and reporting on something someone says out of frustration, for example.

There was one comment that Levi made during the game today that made me chuckle. On a foul ball toward left field that sailed beyond the fence, someone was in that spot with a dog on a leash.

"Head up, dog!" Levi called out as he followed the ball, obviously concerned for the canine's well-being.

I know, it's a silly thing to mention but Levi's one of those guys that just makes me laugh every once in a while. He also pays attention to every detail of the game. I'm not sure too many coaches would follow a long foul ball like that and notice a dog in the distance.

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