Aaron Agnew and Mike Mello endured some growing pains as head coaches, losses that stung numerous challenges in elevating programs.
Agnew and Mello’s ability to maximize their rosters, to exceed even their wildest expectations and to make school history earned them Bee Coach of the Year honors as part of The Bee’s 2019 All-Metro Baseball and Softball teams.
Agnew is The Bee’s Baseball Coach of the Year after Folsom went 25-6, its best showing in Division I, and the most wins for the program since the 1990s. Mello is The Bee’s Softball Coach of the Year after steering Whitney to its first Sac-Joaquin Section championship, doing so in a stacked Division I field.
Whitney went a school-record best 26-6, a far cry from when the team went 11-16 in 2015, a year before Mello took charge.
The Wildcats, behind Bee co-Players of the Year Mazie and Makenzie Macfarlane, beat defending D-I champion Tracy in the finals.
Folsom won baseball section banners in other divisions in 1985, ‘89, ‘99 and 2002, but found the D-I road a great deal more treacherous this decade, including a 7-20 showing in Agnew’s first season in 2015. That was followed by an 8-19 season.
In 2018, Folsom went 13-13-1, and this season the Bulldogs won the Sierra Foothill League championship over storied programs such as Oak Ridge, Rocklin and Granite Bay.
The Bulldogs lost to Jesuit twice in the D-I playoffs before Jesuit fell to defending champion Vacaville in the finals.