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High School Baseball
Follow-Up to the Crystal Vargas Interview

Gene Klumpp
Head Baseball Coach
Marist High School


Dear Websters,
I apologize if this interview seems a little bit "disjointed." I took portions of an email between Coach Klumpp and myself and made into an interview format.

Question: Tell me a little bit about Crystal -- Maybe your initial feelings about her as a person.

Answer: Crystal ..... She is one of a kind. she works very hard at what she does, and is very proud; as she should be!! She wants to go into the medical field - so the sky is the limit for this special young lady. I say lady, cause that's how she handles herself. Crystal is always smiling and always gives 100% (and I hate that term, cause I don't believe in it----just give me all you have!!)

 
Question: I understand that Crystal was not going to play baseball this year, what changed her mind?

Answer: As I've stated, she was already on the team last year when I was the assistant coach. This year I am the head coach, and Crystal almost wasn't going to play baseball. She was a little, well lot, disappointed by last year. She felt she didn't get her "chance". This year I met with her, soon as I could. I let her know that there are no promises, but would like her to play baseball. She has been playing for a long time, and didn't want her to lose her senior year.

 
Question: What about Crystal as a softball player?

Answer: She is a very good softball player. If she had played softball, I think she could possibly have made the all-county first team as well as some state recognition. She assured me she was playing baseball, and here we are. She is a very hard worker, on the field, in the weight room, etc. Crystal also is a very good soccer player, and also bowls.

 
Question: What about the academic Crystal Vargas, other extra-cirricular activities, etc.

Answer: She is an exceptional student----ranks 6th in her graduating class!! She recently was accepted into Penn State. So she has a lot going for her. She is involved in several school governments and groups, so she is well rounded and has her priorities straight.

 
Question: Could Crystal play baseball in college, in your opinion?

Answer: As for baseball in college, I'd say she probably could compete in d-3, possibly d-2. In my opinion, the only thing she would lack is maybe some size and strength. But, not to sound sexist, for a girl she can and does handle her own. She can shock many, and doubters, can be a motivation for her to prove them wrong. She wishes to play softball in college and probably will be very successful, no doubt about it. if she were offered an opportunity to play baseball in college, I think she'd jump at it, but her main thing is getting her education

 
Question: What about a boyfriend? I hear there may be an interesting story there?

Answer: She does have a boyfriend - he is a pitcher also, and competes on another team, in our county and conference.....Could get interesting....lol

 
Question: What was your reaction to seeing a girl on the boy's varsity baseball team?

Answer: My reaction of seeing a girl was probably the same as most, wow. Couldn't believe it, but as time went on, she was just another player. She doesn't look for special treatment or anything, so we keep it pretty simple.

 
Question: How do the "male" Marist players treat and act towards Crystal?

Answer: The other players get along with her fine and yes they do look up to her. Whether in the game or not, Crystal is always a team player, a trait not accepted by many!!! Very sportsman like in terms, of behavior to and towards the game of baseball.

 
Question: Do you have any special team rules due to Crystal being a member?

Answer: We really don't have any team rules --- due to Crystal, but I do on occasion have to remind my players that there is a lady present --- for respect purposes only. But on the field she's one of us. In the locker room and behind closed doors, we're family and she's a player and one of our sisters, so treat her with respect as far as language and all goes.

My main concern is my players towards her, because she is a nice looking young woman, so that's probably my biggest concern. We may loose focus sometimes, if you can understand what I mean. But she is attractive, and does not degrade herself, in any way. She gets along fine with everyone, and yes once in a while one of my players has to sound off, because an opposing team's player may have a comment, but I have no problem with that---like I said, we are family and team mates.

 
Question: What kind of support does she receive for her baseball efforts, from home and the students at school?

Answer: Well she has full support of her family at home and the full support of the school. She is looked up to by everybody - some in awe some in spite ----- Hey where there is success, jealousy will follow. But she takes it all in stride---and those others are a very small handful. She is accepted as Crystal.

 
Question: Final thoughts about having Crystal on the baseball team?

Answer: . I am proud to be her coach, and look forward to the spring---she tells me she can handle the number 3 spot in the rotation, and we'll see.

I know she is excited. I must admit --- I am too. She is a great person, and the exposure and the story may motivate another young lady to be like her.

Gene Klumpp
Head Baseball Coach
Marist High School
1241 Kennedy Blvd.
Bayonne, NJ 07002

 

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Revised February 09, 2003 .