You can begin with Mark Elliott and his 25-plus years of coaching
experience at the high school level. Also include Tony Zarrillo and his
30-year tenure working with high school athletes, be it in football,
track and field, baseball and now, softball.
And add to that Dan Berry and his 38 years of softball wisdom.
Now ever wonder why o7 they'ref7 so good?
Success in Falcon land starts with coaching. Always has, always will.
Players, and great ones at that, have come and gone, but it's been the
superb coaching that's been one of the most consistent factors.
Berry, the head coach, will tell you all you need to know.
"They're what makes this thing go," he says of his assistants during a
recent practice, just kicking back with a popsicle in his mouth, watching
his two good friends organize what needs to be done for the day ahead.
"I just stand here and chew on candy."
Elliott's official title is pitching coach, but he does much more than
just work with the hurlers. Especially now, with a player like Cervenka
as the main girl in the circle, there is not much o7 coachingf7 to do.
So Elliott and Zarrillo -- better known for the time he spent as the
head baseball coach for the CV and Glendale High programs from the mid
1980s to late 1990s -- spend most of their time calling the shots for the
defense. And with Berry calling all the pitches, that has added up to an
almost unbeatable formula.
The last two years, CV is 54-3, including 25-1 this year entering
today's CIF Southern Section Division II first-round playoff game against
Palmdale at 3:15 p.m. at Montrose Park.
"We're all on the same wavelength," said Elliott, who has been working
with Berry since the program's inception in 1983, and even followed him
to Pierce College in the mid 1990s before returning to CV in 1998.
Unlike Zarrillo, who's the new guy in town in just his second year,
Elliott is a familiar face in the program, and he plans on being there
for a long time.
In his 20 years of coaching alongside Berry, he has received many
offers to be the head man in some other program. But each time, he has
opted to stay.
"The loyalty factor with Mark is unbelievable," Berry said. "We've
been together for so long that we think alike. He's like my right-hand
Said Elliott: "The situation at CV is just right for me. Dan gives me
a lot of leeway, and I do a lot of things that a head coach would do, but
I don't deal with some of the other stuff, like the media and parents."
Other than great coaching, Zarrillo and Elliott provide something more
valuable to the team: A great atmosphere.
"They're both so funny," says Cervenka. "They're perfect for the team
chemistry. They make the game fun."
So there. Now you o7 knowf7 .
Now you know how a team could win 40 consecutive Pacific League games,
and four consecutive league titles.
Now you know why the Falcons are among the elite in CIF, year in and
year out, and are ranked among the nation's best this year.
Sure, the players have a lot to do with it. But it's the coaching
that's made them that good and allowed them to perform at such a high
What else can you expect from nearly 100 years of combined wisdom.