GET TO KNOW THE COACHES: DAVID REYES, ONATE HIGH SCHOOL
David Reyes is the head baseball coach at Onate High School. He’s been teaching for the past 25-and-a-half years and spent the past 14 seasons with the Knights. He grew up in Deming, New Mexico. “Home of fast ducks and pure water,” Reyes tells anyone who asks where he’s from. After helping Deming High School win a state baseball championship as a player in 1989, he attended New Mexico State where he walked on with the baseball team.
Get to know a little more about David Reyes.
What sports did you participate in at Deming high school?
Football, baseball and basketball. People told me I had no business playing basketball, but I enjoyed it.
What was your favorite moment as a high school or collegiate athlete?
I can’t deny claiming that state tournament in 1989, my senior year in high school. We decided as 10 strong seniors we wouldn’t be denied a state championship. We beat Goddard. In high school, I pitched and played second base. In college, I played infield. I never flew in an airplane until I went to college, I took my first flight during that time.
One time at Fresno State, we got rained out. Both teams were in the dugouts, they cancelled the game. A couple of the big hitters from both teams stepped up and we had a home run derby with golf balls. That was awesome! I wasn’t involved in that competition, for sure.
Another time at Lubbock Christian, the game got snowed out. That time, we had a break dance competition and that one I participated in. The guy beat me with a back flip, I couldn’t do a back flip.
What’s your favorite moment as a coach?
It was 2008 and we had a walk off grand slam. We were down by 7 runs against Carlsbad in the quarterfinals of the state tournament and came back to win it with a walk off grand slam.
A similar thing happened in the North-South All-Star Game in 2015, very similar. We are in the third game of a best-of-three series, we split the first two 1-1. It’s bragging rights on the line, we’re down 6 or 7 runs, my catcher comes up with two outs and has a 10-pitch at bat and hit a grand slam to walk it off. That was a fond memory.
Another memory that stands out is getting to coach my son. I grew up in Deming. I was one of nine children, six boys, three girls, in a two-bedroom apartment. We were a big, loving family. Now with my own family, we’re still a close-knit family. I married my high school sweetheart and we will be together 25 years this summer. My son, he’s 21 years old, he played for me. It’s always tough when your son is playing for you. It’s usually tough for the kid and the coach. But for me, it wasn’t tough at all. He earned his position as a freshman, he wasn’t given anything.
What teacher or coach had the most influence on you?
My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Little. He was 6’3”, 325 pounds, something like that. He was a big man and my basketball coach. He was tough, but he was good. I’ll never forget him. David Munoz coached me my freshman, sophomore and junior years at Deming High School. I feel bad we couldn’t win him a state title during my time. Scott Woodard came in and put the finishing touches on our senior year. Ron Geyer was amazing! I had no business playing basketball, but I enjoyed it. He’s a yeller and intense and I’ll never forget that guy. He’s really good.
What was your favorite subject in school?
I’m a math teacher. I had trouble in algebra and I teach algebra, right now. Physics was pretty cool. I went to NMSU with the plan to become an engineer. Someone told me I had to be an engineer because I liked math. My baseball practice schedule put a dent on my academic schedule because I made the baseball team. One of my instructors told me I didn’t belong in engineering. I went right from there to the educational department because I wanted to coach someday.
What tv shows do you watch on a regular basis?
Classic MLB, they are showing all kinds of different games. American Idol, I have to put that out there, I love music. Some of the reality shows I can’t stand, but that one is a big one.
If I give you the power to put any movie on tv you want to watch, what movie would it be?
I love all the sports movies, Remember the Titans, Major League, Bull Durham is a classic, Eight Men Out was really good. My wife actually sat with me the other night to watch The Natural.
If I called up the music on your iPod, what artist would I see the most songs from?
It would have to be anything classic rock, CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Lynyrd Skynyrd, but it has to be noted, I love all genres, from Spanish music to rap (it has to be clean), R&B, 80’s and 70’s. When we babysit, we put on the Sirius XM channel and the kid will dance and I dance with him.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Anywhere on the beach. My wife made fun of me because I said I wanted to go on a trip, even if we go to Elephant Butte. I’m ready to get away.
If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I can’t say no to my mom’s red enchiladas. I could eat them for days. I might get sick of them someday, but right now I haven’t
What is your life motto?
We have a motto, “FSFB”. It’s Finish Strong, Finish Blue, as in the first-place blue trophy. Right after our state championship loss in 2008, we had a different motto because we were two outs away. We used to have “2OA”, two outs away, then I said ‘We need to finish strong’. I don’t like to lose, but if I have to lose, just beat me by a bunch of runs. It’s tough to lose a close one. A ‘blue trophy’ can be anything. Everybody wants to finish with the blue trophy. We have to strive for it. The blue trophy is not literally the piece of metal. We have to strive to finish the best we can be, it’s finishing strong.
We’re never going to forget this season, the one that never played out. We were 3-0-1 to start the season. Across the nation, from collegiate to high school, seeing the seniors not being able to finish is tough. It was a finish by phone. This is the only season we ended undefeated, I joked with them. I feel bad for them and the rest of the team. No one will forget this season. They busted their tail.