Baltes steps down from Berkley High boys golf

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published June 26, 2018

 Former Berkley High boys golf coach Scott Baltes, right, is pictured with recently graduated Jake Radom. Baltes has stepped down from leading the program after 14 seasons.

Former Berkley High boys golf coach Scott Baltes, right, is pictured with recently graduated Jake Radom. Baltes has stepped down from leading the program after 14 seasons.

Photo provided by Scott Baltes

When the boys Division 1 golf finals took place June 8-9 at Grand Valley State University, it was a significant couple of days for Scott Baltes in more ways than one.

In what was his 14th season as Berkley High’s boys golf coach, it was Baltes’ first opportunity to coach at a state final.

The reason for Baltes’ appearance was that one of his players, Jake Radom, had qualified for the finals due to his play at a regional tournament May 31.

Radom ended up finishing in a tie for eighth at the finals after shooting 150 over the course of the tournament.

When it was over, Baltes fulfilled what he said was a promise that he had made to Radom when he came to the school.

That promise was that Baltes would “stick around” for the four years that Radom was there.

When it was over, Baltes exchanged a hug with the golfer he said was by far “the best player I’ve ever had in my program.”

Radom will take his talents to the University of Arizona.

As for Baltes, he has opted to resign as Berkley’s coach.

“It’s been a nice run,” Baltes said. “I believe I’ve left a good program intact. … With Jake being there for four years, I knew that would be a good opportunity, that when he graduated, I would go at that time. I fulfilled those four years, and now it’s time for me to move on.”

Baltes considers winning two Oakland Activities Association division championships as a couple of the highlights during his coaching tenure at Berkley.

But perhaps even more significant than that was his contribution in helping to bring a JV golf program to Berkley.

“The big thing for me was to build a program, not just a varsity team,” Baltes said. “You have to have a good JV team to feed the varsity team. … That was my main goal: to build something at Berkley High School that would be remembered and that people would (want to) be a part of.”

When asked about what he’s most pleased with during his time at Berkley, Baltes said it’s the relationships he’s built with kids, parents and other coaches.

“For 14 years I have just a lot of really, really great memories on this whole experience,” Baltes said. “That’s probably the thing I’ll take the most away from this. Wins and losses, to me, that doesn’t show coaching at all. … My goal every year is to take kids at the beginning of the year and make sure that they got better.”

Although Baltes is a graduate of Ferndale High, he said he is a “Berkley guy through and through.”

“It’s been a pleasure to be part of a school district and a community that really backs their sports teams,” Baltes said. “I’ll follow Berkley sports for years to come. I appreciate the fact that they gave me the opportunity.”