Hanapepe native and current Hawaii Pacific University baseball assistant Dallas Correa has gotten his first shot to lead a club.
Correa has been promoted to manager of the Marysville Gold Sox, a baseball club that is part of the Great West League — a collegiate summer baseball league.
“It’s always been something I’ve looked forward to doing,” Correa said in a phone interview Thursday. “Last year allowed me to really see what the Great West League was about, and what summer ball was about on the coaching side of things. Coming into this year, I have a greater grasp of things.”
The Kauai native signed the contract with the club Thursday, and his first season at the helm will be in 2017.
“It’s exciting. It’s actually a huge honor,” Correa said. “I just texted a picture to my dad back at home. It was a really good feeling, kind of like a chicken-skin feeling, to get the opportunity to do this. … Mentally, I’ve been waiting for this opportunity. I think I’ve been able to come up with my philosophy and ways that will help me to reach my players and be successful.”
Correa was chosen to lead the club following the resignation of former manager Mike Walker. Walker led the Gold Sox to a 29-28 record in its first season in the Great West League, according to a release by the club.
Correa was an assistant coach last season with the Gold Sox, which is based in Marysville, California. Correa is also currently a graduate assistant coach with HPU in Honolulu, under head coach Garett Yukumoto.
“My main philosophy is looking at how teams and programs have been successful,” Correa said. “It’s really controlled by two things: having maximum effort and a great attitude throughout the whole process. That’s really the only the two things you can control in baseball, and I think even in life.”
Correa was previously a two-time Interscholastic League of Honolulu all-star catcher at Saint Louis School, where he graduated from in 2011. He went to play for four years at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he graduated from in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biochemistry and is currently working to get his Master’s degree at HPU.
Correa said, as always, he takes with him the dignity of representing the Garden Isle.
“Ever since I went to Saint Louis on Oahu, I’ve always had that sense of, ‘I’m from Kauai,’” he said. “I don’t really tell people I’m from Hawaii. I tell people I’m from Kauai. That’s where I grew up. That’s where I’ve learned my values, and it’s where I’ve learned the game of baseball. I really have a strong sense of continuing to build the pride that Kauai has. That’s the thing about Kauai — it’s so small. Any type of positive light that can be shined on Kauai, that’s awesome.”
He added he intends to use the club as a platform for collegiate athletes from Hawaii. A couple of players he said he’s hoping to bring into the fold is Kapaa High alumnus Rashaan “Turtle” Kuhaulua and Waimea High alumnus Brock Ephan.
Ephan and Kuhaulua were at Yavapai College, a community college in Yavapai County, Arizona, where they won the JUCO World Series championship in June.
“Those are some of the guys that I’ve talked to about potentially joining the team. I’m hoping I’m able to sign them,” Correa said. “It sort of brings in an opportunity for all of us together, all of us three Kauai boys, to do something really positive.”