Allen Park Cabrini's Page All Baseball Stories

Baseball

Sombati hits milestone with Monarchs PHOTOS

  • Cabrini Coach Doug Sombati took over the Monarchs' varsity squad in 2009 and recently earned his 250th with the team. Photo courtesy of Doug Sombati
  • Cabrini Coach Doug Sombati took over the Monarchs' varsity squad in 2009 and recently earned his 250th with the team. Photo courtesy of Doug Sombati
  • Cabrini Coach Doug Sombati took over the Monarchs' varsity squad in 2009 and recently earned his 250th with the team. Photo courtesy of Doug Sombati
  • Cabrini Coach Doug Sombati took over the Monarchs' varsity squad in 2009 and recently earned his 250th with the team. Photo courtesy of Doug Sombati
  • Cabrini Coach Doug Sombati took over the Monarchs' varsity squad in 2009 and recently earned his 250th with the team. Photo courtesy of Doug Sombati
When his Allen Park Cabrini Monarchs defeated Romulus Summit Academy a couple weeks back, Doug Sombati casually walked out to the field to collect the baseball used to make the final out.

“My brother knew it was coming this year. When he saw me grab the baseball he kind of looked at me and said ‘that was no. 250, wasn’t it?’” Sombati said.

Sombati, 51, and his brother Jim Sombati, 53, have been coaching varsity baseball together since the mid-1990’s when Doug head coached at Southgate Aquinas. Jim was assistant coach, and Doug’s right-hand man.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later and the brothers hold those same respective titles, only now for Cabrini.

“He’s been through all of this with me,” Doug Sombati said. “We’re basically co-coaches.”

Doug and Jim were “co-coaches” as far back as the early 1980’s at Aquinas, when they managed the school’s junior varsity team.

In 1993, when Doug took over as head coach of the varsity team, Jim was away having a child and raising a family for the first couple years of Doug’s run. Doug went 134-115-1 during his time as head coach at Aquinas, from 1993-2000.

Jim wound up right next to Doug, assistant coaching in the dugout, for the better part of eight years, including in 1998 when the Sombati brothers led Aquinas to a Division 4 state championship.

When Aquinas closed in 2000, Doug stepped back from coaching to raise his family. This granted him the luxury of sitting back and waiting for what he deemed to be the perfect opportunity to pop up before diving head first back into coaching baseball.

“I live really close to Cabrini and I always preferred coaching at private schools,” Doug said. “Nothing against public schools, it’s just a little bit of a different type of setting. I kept a close eye on the Cabrini job until I got the opportunity to coach the 8th grade team in 2007 and 2008.”

Doug took over the varsity team in 2009, with his brother, again, right by his side.

“We were always into sports growing up - we played everything – street hockey, baseball, football...,” Doug said. “We played slow-pitch softball too, but really wanted to stay involved in the coaching aspect of sports.”

The two have always held a close bond, which speaks to why they each believe they work so well together, to the point where they nearly finish each other’s sentences while coaching.

“Doug’s really my best friend,” Jim said. “We just think so much alike, it’s almost like a telepathic relationship, kind of. Coaching with him has been very enjoyable.”

When it comes to coaching style, neither brother would mince words as to what their roles in the dugout are and how they have been consistently perceived by their players.

“It’s basically good cop/bad cop,” Doug said, laughing. “He’s the disciplinarian. But we really compliment each other very well. I have my things I’m strong at and he has his things he’s strong at. We’re open about criticizing each other, critiquing each other and taking it in stride afterwards and moving on. We’ve been doing that since we were kids.”

Through the whole journey that is coaching high school athletics with your sibling, neither brother has lost sight of what matters most about the job; the kids.

“Having old players come back to tell us how much our coaching has meant to them means everything,” Jim said. “We’ve just been blessed. The outpouring of former players who want to come back and do alumni or want to give back to their school is really why Doug and I do what we do. It’s knowing our messages, above and beyond just what goes on on the field, resonate with the kids.”

Cabrini’s current batch of young baseball players own an 11-10 record under the Sombatis in 2014. Doug has since upped his win total to 254.

With no imminent plans to retire and with what Doug believes to be “a great group of players,” coming up from middle school and the JV ranks, his win total may just continue to climb.





Last Updated: 5/23/2014 3:02:38 PM EST

Promotions & Specials

See All