The title of “coach” is one that has to be earned. Matoaca’s Steve Leake has done that and more. Leake has combined his love for the Lord, student-athletes and baseball to become one of the most respected volunteer coaches in the area. As Matoaca High School has grown and evolved, head baseball coaches have come and gone. Leake has been the constant as Matoaca has become one of the powerhouse baseball programs in the Central Region.
Head coach Fred Stoots has had the pleasure of working with Leake for the past 11 seasons.
“I honestly don’t know where we would be as a program without Coach Leake,” he said. “More often than not, he is the first to arrive and the last to leave. Keep in mind, Leake spent his career as a professional fire fighter working shift work. It was not unusual for him to get off work and come straight to practice. On many occasions, he would then leave high school practice and go directly to the Matoaca CBC Pinto team’s practice.”
And, Stoots added, “His baseball knowledge is immense.”
In addition to his baseball IQ, Leake has taken great pride in the Matoaca facilities. He has spent long hours ensuring that the home team’s field at the old school was something in which to take pride. Although now completing its eighth season, the new facility at Matoaca is a work in progress. Leake is on site nearly every day improving both the beauty and functionality of the stadium.
Leake has coached thousands of kids throughout the years. Hitting, catching and throwing the baseball has played a significant role for Leake, but, more importantly, his ultimate goal has been developing character. Matoaca baseball players are certainly known for doing things the “right way,” in no small thanks to the daily presence of one of the true good guys in local sports.