“It was softball that brought me back”-Brian Santo, Carlsbad Head Coach
The Carlsbad High School softball team is off to a perfect start this season. But regardless of how they finish the year, it’s been an amazing comeback for their head coach, Brian Santo. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to coach, I spent 70 days in the hospital with COVID,” said Santo. “I came back strong and asked them to do the same. I don’t remember a lot of the hospital time. I was intubated for 36 of those days.”
Brian Santo was hospitalized in October and didn’t get out until December 31st. “It was softball that brought me back,” he explained. “I didn’t know where we were as far as months-wise and days-wise, I thought we were already getting close to the state playoffs, making sure my daughter (Assistant Coach Brianna Santo) had everything in line. I guess she’s paying me back for all the coaching I did for her because she sure pushed me hard. I’ve come a lot farther than people thought I would have.”
His recovery from a life-threatening situation has helped motivate his team. “They saw me on the field in a wheelchair and then with a walker and to come out of that, they saw that. I asked them to give to me what I’ve given to you.”
The team responded to their coach’s request. Pitchers Faith Aragon and Haiven Schoolcraft have put up great numbers, and offensively the Cavegirls pack a punch at the plate too. “Obviously, our pitching has been pretty good, but it’s kind of hard to overlook we score 10 runs a game and six of the girls on the roster have hit home runs this year.”
“2020 probably would have been a good year for us, but we didn’t get a chance to play, and the two years surrounding 2020 we were runner up. I think what we were missing was the continuity of the team and everybody working together, and I think we finally have that.”
“I can’t predict, but if they keep playing the way they’re playing, they’ll bring it home,” said their head coach. “They’re working so well together now that it makes my job that much easier.”
An easier job might be welcomed after what he’s battled through. Carlsbad puts their 13-game win streak on the line Thursday night at Artesia.