“We’re Just A Bunch of Bros”

Coach Ryan Madsen's role in another CIF Championship

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As the sun rises on another sunny day in Carlsbad, Ryan Madsen can be seen either mowing the outfield grass, raking the infield dirt, or spraying water with a large hose around home plate. Madsen devotes a significant amount of his time to his varsity players’ so they can be ready to get work done for the entirety of practice. 

Throughout his seven years as head varsity coach, Madsen has not only produced two different varsity teams with CIF championships in 2016 and 2019 but a very unique relationship with his players and fellow coaches as well. 

Photo Courtesy from Ryan Madsen
Madsen holds his cap against his chest as the National Anthem sounds at Tony Gwynn Stadium just before Sage Creek took on Classical Academy. This was Madsen’s second CIF title in his seventh year as head varsity coach at SCHS

Last year, the team lost their first-round playoff game, forcing the team to win five straight single-elimination games. Madsen realized the difficulty of this feat and knew he had to get his team together.

“Bringing the guys together after that first loss and getting us in the right state of mind…is a hard thing for players to come back [from]” said Madsen. “And you know because we won five straight after losing the first,” he added.

Not only did Madsen’s players come out strong on the baseball diamond but Junior Connor Blough (who played with the varsity team last season), believes Madsen played a key role in the team’s incredible CIF championship run.

“He’s just like a best friend with all the players and he hangs out with the players outside of school. He’s just so dedicated to the school, team and all of the players,” Blough said.

The interpersonal bond with Madsen is also visible throughout coaches who have worked with him. Assistant varsity coach, Guy Sabala, explains how Madsen’s family-like relationship contributed to the team’s overall success. 

“Everyone wants to hang out with the ‘big brother’ and family is first and he preaches that,” Sabala goes on to say that the best thing is, “that was probably the tightest knit group that I’ve seen play baseball together last year and that had a lot to do with Madsen,”

To gain his player’s trust, Madsen knew he needed to allow his players to be able to hang out and have fun as long as their work is done. Senior Ethan Hope describes how this caused the team’s chemistry to come along.

Photo Courtesy from Ryan Madsen
The Sage Creek varsity players and coaches gather around the 2019 Divison Two CIF Championship banner after a win against Classical Acadamy. The team was ecstatic to take home the banner and ready to take home another in Division One next season.

“He encouraged team bonding because if you don’t get along with each other, your chemistry is not going to be good in games,” said Hope, “he was cool with us doing a lot of our stuff like hanging out as long as we get our work done, and I think just having the team chemistry really helped us.”

The feeling of closeness that Madsen caused his players to feel also had an effect on the team’s achievements in last year’s championship stretch. Junior Aaron DelGrande feels as if  Madsen isn’t only the coach but also another player on the team.

“He’s super positive. He’s always texting the guys’ updates and stuff, so he’s very close friends with them. ” DelGrande said.

“We’re just a bunch of bros, Sage Creek baseball is going to be fun to watch for years to come,” said Madsen reminiscing the moment when the hoisted up the CIF Championship trophy from last year.