ILH suspends Damien assistant
The Interscholastic League of Honolulu suspended Damien assistant baseball coach Terry Derby in August for one year after the longtime youth coach and former University of Hawaii standout was accused of trying to recruit at least two Mililani players.
An appeal by Damien (which Derby was not present at) was denied, but Derby is hoping for an audience with ILH officials to explain his side.
"There is a lot of misunderstanding. I'm trying to clear this up in a positive way for everyone," Derby said. "I hear only good things about (ILH executive director) Don Botelho, especially that he is very fair. But I haven't met him. If they have something I did wrong, I'll take the blame."
The players in question, Darby Ventura and Dustin Antolin, were freshmen last year. Both are family friends of Derby, who is a well-known Pony and Mustang coach in Mililani.
"They are like sons to me, and their parents are like brothers and sisters to me," said Derby, who coached both boys in youth leagues.
Ventura now attends Damien, where Derby's sons also go to school. Because Ventura played in the state tournament last season for Mililani's varsity team, he is not eligible to play baseball in the spring.
Antolin remained at Mililani.
"I feel that anytime a player is asked by any private school to go for a private-school education, that's all good with me. I'm OK with that. Kids and parents will want that, so I'm OK with the situation," Mililani coach Dean Sato said yesterday.
Sato has known Derby for many years. As far as he is concerned, Derby's involvement was not a negative. "He's helping there at Damien. He's a very good motivator. I want to keep this positive for Terry; he's my friend," Sato said.
Sato said he heard about the incident second-hand. A letter of complaint from Mililani athletic director Glenn Nitta (former Mililani baseball coach) was sent to the ILH, he said.
Nitta declined comment.
Botelho, and Damien athletic director Herb Lloyd and head baseball coach John Matias did not return phone calls from the Star-Bulletin yesterday.