4/12/2013 11:21:00 AM Pagel new head coach at Hastings
by Ken Haggerty
Taylor Pagel, Cannon Falls High School 2001 graduate and current Cannon Falls resident, is starting his first season as the new head coach of the Hastings High school varsity baseball team this Spring.
Pagel is also a junior high math teacher in Hastings, where he has worked for six years.
Pagel says he will manage the team and program using many of the lessons he learned from Bucky Lindow, his CFHS coach, and Randy Hartl, his CF Legion coach. He says he still talks often to both.
"We'll focus on fundamentals, pitching and defense, and small ball," said Pagel. "We lost about six games last year by one run. You need to be able to play small ball to win those close games." Pagel has been a Hastings varsity assistant for three years and coached ninth grade before that.
Pagel said he will also follow Lindow's and Hartl's leads in stressing the importance of building character over wins and losses. He coached the CF B-squad when he was a long-term substitute after graduating from Augsburg, where he earned All-MIAC honors in baseball.
While he's happy to get the head job, Pagel says it's a little bittersweet as he will be moving to Hastings. His wife, Mindi (Bodette) - also a CFHS graduate, works in Woodbury and with the new position he will also be coaching VFW ball in the summer, running camps in the summer and spending more time in Hastings in general with his new duties.
"I love Cannon Falls and being part of the community, so that will be tough," said Pagel. He says he will still play for the Bears amateur league team, though.
The job is a challenge, as Hastings is in a conference with some strong baseball teams like Cretin, Stillwater, Roseville, Forest Lake, White Bear Lake and Mounds View.
Pagel, the son of Ken and Pam Pagel of the White Rock area, also played football and wrestled while at CFHS. He was All-conference in baseball as a junior and senior and All-State as a senior.
Lindow says he is excited for Taylor. "Coaching is like parenting. When a former athlete is excited and joyful about something it is just like when your child is excited. You feel their joy," said Lindow.
"Taylor was a tremendous baseball player here," said Lindow. "Left field at John Burch Park has some challenges with the sun, the wall, and the out-of-play line, but Taylor mastered them all." Lindow calls him one of the most clutch hitters; proven by his 32 RBI as a season record in 2001.
"When his players see the positive way he interacts with his wife and children he will be making a positive impact on their lives as well as the next generation," adds Lindow.
Lindow remembers playing St. Paul Academy in the subsection tournament. Charlie Ruud matched up with a pitcher named T.J. Prunty, who later pitched in the Twins organization. " We trailed 1-0 in the seventh inning," recalls Lindow. "We were able to get two runners on and we had Taylor up with two outs. I knew he was the guy we wanted at the plate. He crushed the ball to left field in Belle Plaine, but it was caught at the warning track to end the game."
Another favorite memory of Pagel that Lindow has was when he heard Pagel hit a home run off Charlie Ruud in college. "Two Bombers going head-to-head!"