v_hou17-002
500 wins – Mark Esselstein – Photo thanks to Pat Agler – http://www.pantherdenz.com

(4-10-17) – Not to many athletic programs around the US have the same coach in place that started a varsity program. Mark Esselstein in 1987 became the first softball coach at Parkway (Ohio), 31 years later he picked up his 500th career win as the Panthers head man.

1988 Parkway Softball Team
1988 Parkway Softball Team

This past Saturday (4-8-17) was the day Esselstein, a 2008 Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame member, would pick up his 500th win. The Panthers would beat Archbold 11-5 for #499 before they beat Crestview 6-3 and win #500.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Coach Esselstein on the journey to 500 wins.

Your first coaching win-

I don’t remember the first one☹  Asking a lot to remember back 31 years!

What happened in 1996?

1996 was just 7-4.  We had a great team that never got a chance to play much because the weather was so bad.  66 practices for 11 games!

Memories over the years-

So many special moments.  The regional final in 1997 when we won to make it to state the first time after being close so many times before.  I remember hugging Annie in the middle of the diamond and getting the water/ice cooler dumped on us.  So emotional!

1997 Parkway Softball
1997 – 1st Panther Team To Play at State

Surprises over the Years-

For our first home game this year, the girls surprised me by all  wearing the Esselstein Crazies t-shirts as warm-ups.  These were shirts made up in support of Annie and her fight against cancer in recognition of us being Duke basketball fans (Cameron Crazies).  Such a touching show of support!

Then this Saturday, Amber (Scheidt) Slusher surprised me before the Archbold game by bringing back the 1997 team.  8 starters were able to return—it was so great to see them all and reminisce a bit.

The 500th win-

Then the Crestview game.  I didn’t know if the girls even knew anything about the upcoming milestone, but they sure did.  The look of pure joy on their faces as they ran to me shouting 500 after the last out was recorded was priceless!  They had a t-shirt ready for me and a special banner already prepared.  They must have been very confident they would get it done that day!! Fitting as I consider them (Crestview) our oldest and most respected rival.

Keys to success—

Highly motivated athletes that want to be special and live up to our winning tradition.  I have had great assistant coaches through the years (Rex Miller, Teri Samples, Kyle Ahrens, Trey Stover and many others), supportive parents, and communities that make up our school system that take softball seriously and prepare our kids for varsity ball.

Looking back over the years-

All I can say is that this community has given far more to me than I could ever give back to them!

Over the 31 years of Parkway softball the Panthers only lost 10 games in a season once (1994 – 11-10) and have never been below .500 in 31 years.  Impressive to never  had a losing season.

 

The ESSELSTEIN History

YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS

  • 1987    8-7       SECTIONAL CHAMPS
  • 1988    13-5     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 1989    12-5     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL RUNNERSUP
  • 1990    14-3     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS
  • 1991    21-3     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL RUNNERSUP
  • 1992    18-1     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS
  • 1993    18-2     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 1994    11-10   SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 1995    16-5     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 1996    7-4       SECTIONAL RUNNERSUP
  • 1997    22-3     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL CHAMPS, STATE SEMI-FINALIST, AP/OHSFCA POLL #2
  • 1998    27-2     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL CHAMPS, STATE SEMI-FINALIST, AP/OHSFCA POLL #1
  • 1999    16-3     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, AP/OHSFCA POLL #2
  • 2000    13-8     MAC RUNNERSUP
  • 2001    16-5     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, AP/OHSFCA POLL #9
  • 2002    18-8     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, AP/OHSFCA POLL #10
  • 2003    15-8     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP, AP/OHSFCA POLL #5
  • 2004    21-6     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 2005    17-8     MAC RUNNERSUP, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS
  • 2006    18-4     UNDEFEATED MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 2007   12-7     MAC RUNNERSUP, SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS
  • 2008    18-7     SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL RUNNERSUP, AP/OHSFCA POLL #6
  • 2009   17-6     MAC CHAMPS,SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL RUNNERSUP, AP/OHSFCA POLL #7
  • 2010    13-9     MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP.
  • 2011    19-3     UNDEFEATED MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS.
  • 2012   22-7     UNDEFEATED MAC CHAMPS, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DIST. RUNNERSUP
  • 2013   22-6     MAC RUNNERSUP, SECTIONAL CHAMPS, DISTRICT CHAMPS, REGIONAL CHAMPS, STATE SEMI-FINALIST, AP/OHSFSCA POLL #2
  • 2014    15-6     MAC RUNNERSUP, SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS
  • 2015    20-4     MAC RUNNERSUP, SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS, DISTRICT RUNNERSUP
  • 2016    17-4
  • 2017     4-1

Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association

Career Wins

722	152	Bud Weisgarber	Strasburg-Franklin
630	142	Laura Ford 	Lima Bath
622	240	Jerry Kelbley	Westerville South
605	229	Chuck Shuman 	Akron Ellet
591	204	Chuck Huggins	Colonel Crawford
569	167	Jan Keatley	South Point
569	208	Walt Snyder	Bellevue
565	168	Paul Fernandez	Ross 	
558	252	Kevin Moody 	Hilliard Darby
555	225	Jim Campolo	Gahanna Lincoln	
530	115	Reid Lamport 	Poland Seminary
502	 93	Ken Fenik	Elyria
500	159	Mark Esselstein	Parkway


***note other coaches totals are thru 2016

Advertisements