Powell Pioneers and manager Joe Cates parting ways

Posted 8/26/21

Powell’s baseball program will see new leadership in the near future.

At a meeting last week, the Powell Pioneers Legion Baseball board voted unanimously to not renew Joe Cates’ …

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Powell Pioneers and manager Joe Cates parting ways

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Powell’s baseball program will see new leadership in the near future.

At a meeting last week, the Powell Pioneers Legion Baseball board voted unanimously to not renew Joe Cates’ contract as manager. Cates served the role for four seasons, leading the Pioneers to a 31-12 record in 2021.

“It was not an easy decision,” board president Cayde O’Brien said, speaking on behalf of the entire committee. “It’s uncomfortable, but this is a competitive, varsity-level program that needs a competitive, varsity-level coach.”

The board’s primary reason for not renewing the contract was performance-based, O’Brien said. The Pioneers entered regionals with the No. 1 seed but finished third; they entered state with the No. 3 seed from the West but fell to fourth-place Lovell to end the season.

O’Brien also said manager ejections both this season and in prior years played into the board’s decision.

“It was not one person who made this decision,” she said. “It was a group decision with feedback from players and parents, ultimately based on where we finished the season. We started out great but didn’t end all that great.”

Cates did not attend the Aug. 15 meeting where the board made its decision, as he had to take care of his children that evening. Contrasting with the board’s opinion, Cates saw the 2021 campaign as a success, citing three all-state and seven all-conference selections.

“We had a great season,” Cates said. “We had a great group of kids and had a blast. The parents look out for one season, not the health of the program.”

He noted the squad also won a conference title in 2020.

Cates said none of the board members have spoken with him about the decision. He plans to attend the meeting on Sept. 12 for a full explanation.

“The parents are never around and never watch practices,” he said. “They shouldn’t make decisions based on what 15-year-old kids think or feel.”

Cates said he does not plan on coaching in the future “as long as there’s a parent board.” He plans on spending more time with his family and enjoying his favorite activities — fishing and boating.

The Pioneers have posted an advertisement in search of coaches for the 2022 season. O’Brien said there are several coaches who won’t be returning to their respective teams in the area next year, describing this as a good time for the program to be hiring.

Powell Pioneers

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