RIVERSIDE — After 26 years leading the Carroll High School baseball team, Mike Sheets is ready to turn the lineup card to another coach.
The 1983 Carroll grad and Beavercreek resident announced Friday that this would be his last season as head coach of the Patriots.
“Being a head coach … there’s even more stuff going on and more stuff to do than I think there was 25 years ago,” Sheets, an area attorney said. “You combine that with how busy I am at work, that’s part of it. I’m not as young as I once was. I found that a lot of the physical demands, like all the work on the field, it’s harder to do by myself. I’m not real good at asking people for help. That’s one of the problems.”
Shoveling and raking dirt for thee or four hours several times a week isn’t as easy as it used to be, Sheets added.
“Ya know, maybe it’s time for a breath of fresh air with the program … ” he said.
No doubt Sheets will leave a legacy that will be hard to match. He has more than 350 wins nd led the team to its first Mid-Miami League title in 1999. Carroll was 22-5 that season, a school record. The Patriots set a new standard in 2002, going 25-4, winning the MML North at 10-0 and making it to the district finals before losing to future Major League Baseball pitcher Jensen Lewis and Cincinnati Anderson.
Sheets was also inducted into the Greater Dayton Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the 2018 class.
The 1999 through 2002 rosters included eight players who went on to play college baseball, including Dan Biedenharn, Jack Leopard, and Chris Coleman, who all played in the College World Series according to the Carroll website. Biedenharn also won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the best third baseman in the country in 2007.
Prior to that run, Sheets had a pair of players play in the Big Ten — Jason Bullens at Ohio State and Kyle Geswein at Michigan State.
Seven coaches who were assistants under Sheets became head coaches at other programs.
“Any level of success I’ve had it’s been because I was smart enough to surround myself with people smarter than me,” Sheets said.
Those relationships, and the relationships with his players is what Sheets will miss most. Former players often come back and visit years later.
“I will miss the kids” Sheets said. “I will miss having fun with the kids. Just being around them, joking around with them in the off times.”
Sheets returned to Carroll two years after graduating, coaching under then-head coach Chris Sorrell. He was then an assistant under Mike Sever in 1994-95 before taking over as head coach.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.