I was a little surprised last night when I told the story last night of Pete Fick, New Jersey’s winningest high school softball coach, being in danger of losing his job at Hunterdon Central HS after 38 seasons!

Surprised because all he wants is one more year!

His appearance before the board last night was filled with supporters and former players who all spoke glowingly about having played for him, and the inspiration that he was.

“In all the years I played for him, his focus was always on us — the players,” Kristen Lake told the Hunterdon Central High School board. She is a 2010 Hunterdon Central graduate and a shortstop on one of Fick’s many championship teams.

She was one of about 35 former and current ballplayers and parents who came to the meeting to help Fick ask the board for one more season as head softball coach.

Fick, 71, told the board, “I would like the opportunity to be the varsity softball coach for one more year. We’ve had two state championships, seven sectional championships, 15 bi- (and) tri-county championships, 24 consecutive league championships, 720 wins — the winningest program in the state…” He quoted praise he’d received from Athletic Director Bob Rossi and Superintendent Christina Steffner.

Fick concluded his remarks to the board by saying, “I know you want a change. I would like to help you change — after I get the coaching job for next year.” This was applauded by his supporters.

Although no announcement has been made, the school board has advertised for a softball coach, and Athletic Director Rossi has said, “It looks like we’re moving on towards a new coach.”

John Papazian thanked all who spoke and explained, “Just by way of process, the district posts all coaching positions every year and the process is: The administration comes to the board with a recommendation. As of this time the administration has not come to the board with a recommendation, hence the board has no decision to make” yet.

I did tell you I’d let you know what the outcome of the meeting was.

So it is left to the school board to decide.

By the way…school boards…aren’t they grand!

Little fiefdoms that you elect who control the lives of the little people…like you and me…and Coach Fick; who in my mind has earned the right for that “one more year!”

After all he’s accomplished, would it kill them?

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