Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Faulkner Shows Why He Is Best

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Faulkner Shows Why He Is Best

Article excerpt

PORT ST. LUCIE

While his players ran and jumped, whooped and hollered, behavior befitting a state title, Venice's Craig Faulkner celebrated his own way.

Which meant elation steadied by poise. Satisfaction balanced by class.

The head coach who is hauling state hardball hardware back to Venice for the second time in five years emerged from the dugout Sunday following the Indians' 4-2 win over Brandon to hugs from his coaches, one going so far as to momentarily jump into his arms.

Faulkner never will go that far, which really doesn't matter, when you get this far.

A state championship game. Again. A state championship crown. Again.

He won it back in 2007, ironically enough, beating Port St. Lucie at Ed Smith Stadium. That was for the Class 5A title. That same year, Clyde Metcalf's Sarasota Sailors claimed the 6A crown.

As long as Metcalf's around, Faulkner never will be the dean of area coaches, even if his 13 years of service and career 283-142 record would be the envy of high school skippers everywhere.

But this championship changes things. Until further notice, Craig Faulkner is the best our area has to offer.

"It's very satisfying," he said. "You can win it once, and a lot of people never get to do it again, so personally it's very satisfying. I know we have a system and assistant coaches that are top notch.

"We teach more than baseball at Venice High School. A lot into character and doing the little things in the community. All those things are more important than state championships, really. But to get here in this setting and to bring back another title for Venice is very special to me."

He said this team is totally different than the '07 edition, and one look at the stats from this club offers the evidence.

It combined for two home runs. Two. Just three players had 10 or more RBI, while three of the starters in Sunday's game batted . …

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