Eric Buck looked over the vacant softball diamond following the recent Sulphur Springs playoff loss in Royse City with long glance.
He seemed to be taking in all the details of the ball park. The chalk lines on the field, the cool of the grass and dust in the air.
"Who knew 27 years ago in Cumby it would last this long?" Buck said as players and coaches slowly left the field. None wanting to be the last one off the diamond as the season ended.
"It has been a good run. I can say it just flew by, it doesn't seem like that long," Buck said. "I have no regrets, I blessed I was able to do it. It makes it easier seeing your team go out in the playoffs. But it is still hard to see the season end. Especially when it is your last year."
The Arlington native has been coaching in several stops in East Texas at Cumby, Rains and his final 14 years in Sulphur Springs in several sports while being a classroom teacher.
Buck estimated that he has coached more 500 students, mostly female athletes, over his run which has last 27 years.
"I learned one thing, having good players makes you a better coach," Buck said with a smile. He said he’s proud that three former players are now coaches in their own right. More than 20 have gone on to play college athletics.
"It's been great fun. These girls keep me going, they are awesome," Buck said. "I will still be at school, just not coaching. It's a decision our family made and I am looking forward to what is next for me."
Sulphur Springs head softball coach David Carrillo said he is sad to see Buck, his right-hand man, leave the coaching field.
"I will miss Coach Buck, his knowledge of the game is great," Carrillo said. "He has done his time coaching for 27 years. Now he is moving on with the next chapter in his life. I am very appreciative to him for all the time and dedication he has given to the Sulphur Springs program."
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