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The Butler Did It: Allen Watson comes home

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Allen Watson was everywhere.And now Allen Watson has returned to his alma mater. He has once again donned the CK Maroon and Gold, albeit a slightly bigger size than he wore when he pitched for the Royals in 1988. I applaud Watson. I applaud him for keeping it real, for not only returning to his high school to watch their games but to give back now as its varsity head coach. How many times have we seen athletes make it big and forget where they came from, but here's a guy who made it, who pitched eight years in the major leagues, won a World Series championship with the Yankees and he's back at Juniper Park. He's working with promising sophomore Bobby Tesseyman and the other Royals pitchers and is the ultimate role model. Hey, if you're not motivated to learn a thing or two from a former major leaguer, then you shouldn't be playing high school sports.Watson has always struck me as a real guy. I've interviewed him a handful of times in both the Mets and Yankees clubhouses and he was always congenial. He treated me the same as if he was being interviewed for a story in Sports Illustrated or if he were on ESPN's SportsCenter. Watson made a ton of money in the majors, but he never really strayed too far from his roots. On another occasion, I ran into him at O'Neill's Restaurant in Maspeth after covering a Queens College men's basketball game. He may have had more money in his bank account than anyone else in the room, but he acted the same as everyone else. And while I applaud Watson for returning to coach baseball at Christ the King and I applaud the school for vigorously chasing after him to do so, I also think Walter Tuthill deserves some recognition. For 16 years he dedicated himself to coaching baseball at Christ the King, the last five years on the varsity level. Sure the wins were few and far between the last couple of years, but Tuthill has done a great job at CK and he really is the salt of the earth. I just hope that, in all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds Watson's return, the school remembers the guy who quietly gave almost two decades of his time.Parting shotsPart of my job as a sports reporter is to try and give my "expert" analysis when it comes to the sports that we cover. But when it comes to the CHSAA baseball league this year, good luck, my friend. All bets are off. You think you have it figured out - Xaverian is a shoe-in to repeat as city champs and Molloy is the best team in Queens - but then they go out and play the games. In the span of two weeks, Xaverian, a team that had destroyed all comers, lost twice to St. Peter's and St. Francis Prep. Molloy goes out and gets killed by McClancy and then Holy Cross, which was one out away from beating Xaverian and played Molloy to a one-run game earlier this year, gets routed by the Stanners, 8-2 Monday.It's frustrating, but really it's great. It makes the final month of the regular season and the always-tough playoffs more wide open than they've ever been and that makes for some enthralling baseball.Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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