Enterprise staff writer
Every so often, you just luck out.
When storied Davis High girls tennis coach Paul Ochs retired last fall after 34 years, 21 league crowns and seven Sac-Joaquin Section titles, school administrators didnÕt have far to go to find a top notch successor.
Enter Sally Hosley, the new Blue Devil girls mentor.
ÒSheÕs just gonna be great,Ó Ochs said earlier this summer. ÒSheÕs a great teacher. Great player. SheÕll be terrific (with the team). WeÕre lucky to have her available.Ó
Hosley, a No. 1 UC Davis singles player in the 1980s, is a local teaching professional who has seen or taught many of the schoolÕs players over the years Ñ and knows well the legacy that is DHS girls tennis.
ÒI certainly have big shoes to fill when it comes to (replacing) Paul,Ó Hosley says. ÒPaul was nurturing and a kind-hearted coach for these girls. He cared a lot about them on and off the court. He is definitely a tennis icon when it comes to DHS girls tennis … I feel honored to
follow in his footsteps.Ó
But Hosley is an accomplished coach who, according to those around her, is expected to keep the flame of Devil dominance burning bright in the foreseeable future.
Former DHS Athletic Director Mark Dietrich and then-school principal Winfred Roberson breathed sighs of relief when Hosley applied for the spot after Ochs stepped down.
Teaching colleague Ñ and DHS boys coach Ñ Dale Hersch believes the right woman is in the right spot.
ÒSheÕll be terrific. We are lucky in that regard … having someone to replace Paul like Sally,Ó Hersch said.
A former junior player growing up in Stockton, Hosley feels in tune with her girls:
ÒSince IÕve been in their shoes, playing competitively as a junior, I know what itÕs like playing on a girls tennis team. Tennis is an individual sport, so itÕs important to teach these players how to practice, compete and communicate as a team. I personally know the pressures of challenge matches, the extreme disappointment of losing, and the mental game that takes over a player.
ÒEven though IÕve only raised boys, I know the ins and outs of girls, their relationships and how they think. IÕve been there. IÕll carry out my role as a tennis coach based on my experience as a … positive motivator.Ó
Hosley adds that while success on the court is something by which casual observers will measure success, she wants to Òshare my values regarding the importance of being a well-rounded student-athletes.Ó
Married to husband Paul (also a former Aggie) for 23 years, Hosley settled in Davis in 1997 after a spending time in the Bay Area, where her husband was the news director at KGO radio.
While in The City, Hosley spent five years away from competitive tennis, working at the San Francisco Chronicle as marketing coordinator.
Now Hosley is an instructor with HerschÕs Davis Tennis Club. She also teaches at El Macero Country Club and, when not working with other familiesÕ budding court stars, works with three of her own.
Sons Nelson (freshman at Sonoma State) and Garrett (junior at DHS) were key ingredients in the DevilsÕ three boys section crowns over the past four seasons. Sixth-grader Cooper plays baseball and, of course, tennis.
ÒMy most fulfilling job is raising my boys and watching them grow up to be responsible and respectable young men,Ó the proud mom continues. ÒI love it when they ask me to play tennis with them. Fortunately, they like their mom!Ó
There will be a little melancholy around the Hosley home this weekend … Nelson is off to that first year of college at Sonoma.
ÒIt will be a big change in our household when Nelson leaves this weekend,Ó Hosley adds. ÒAll the boys are very close and enjoy being together. Oh well, a new chapter in the Hosley house.Ó
Give her a few seasons coaching at DHS Ñ mix in the continued play of her sons Ñ and Hosley should have enough chapters for that book.
Notes: Hosley, 47, was all-conference each of her four years at UCD. She also played at No. 1 doubles during her Aggie career. … A certified United States Professional Tennis Association instructor, Hosley is available for private lessons ([email protected] or (530) 400-9711). … From the We Knew This Would Happen Dept.: ÒRetiredÓ coach Ochs was seen at a recent practice, obscured by bushes at the Community Park Tennis Complex. Hosley, who Ochs says has asked him all the right questions, says her predecessor is welcome anytime.
Ñ Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com