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Greenwood steps down as Roughriders head coach

After 12 years of coaching, including a three-year stint as head coach, Stephen Greenwood will no longer head the Dickinson American Legion baseball team.

After 12 years of coaching, including a three-year stint as head coach, Stephen Greenwood will no longer head the Dickinson American Legion baseball team.

Greenwood and his wife, Heather, welcomed a baby boy, Jack, eight months ago and that played a huge role in his difficult decision.

"(It came down to) nothing other than needing some family time, extremely hard decision," Greenwood said. "I was able to do something that I had a lot of pride doing. I loved every second, even in the tough times. It was nice to wake up every morning and know I was gonna be able to do something that I love."

Since 2006, Greenwood coached at the high school level under longtime coach Pete Dobitz and took control of the American Legion squad in 2016. He also is an assistant coach for the Dickinson Midgets during the spring, a job he still hopes to hold, even if he can't head his own program.

The Midgets won the Class A state title in 2007, 2009 and 2016. The most recent team, which Greenwood also coached in the summer, was "a special group."

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"I still talk to the boys," Greenwood said. "They really showed what a team can accomplish if you become a family. It was really fun to see that aspect of it."

In his inaugural season as the Roughriders' skipper, he led the team to a 21-22 record, which was improved to 23-18 the following summer. As Dickinson hosted the Central Plains Regional Tournament, the team competed there too, going 1-4 over the past two years.

"I had a long talk with Coach Dobitz and he had nothing but great advice for me," Greenwood said. "He's very guilty of it too; we put other people and other kids first and he said, 'Make sure you take care of your family before you give everything to other people.' It just takes a special person to coach, I guess. I'm surely going to miss it."

In his most recent season at the helm, Greenwood, along with assistant coach Brady Dutchak, guided a group of young inexperienced baseball players to a 9-23 season. The youthful team was a stark difference from the senior-heavy squad he led the year before, but through long bus rides (with Greenwood at the wheel), the players and coaches still grew close.

"I appreciated it, the new opportunity of molding some kids a little younger than we're used to and teaching them stuff about baseball that sometimes you don't have to teach at that level," Greenwood said. "I think we planted a nice seed for their future here. Hopefully they don't forget some of the stuff we spent a lot of time with. Whatever vision the next coach has, 'Respect that,' that's what I'll tell them. Just keep trying to come together as a team."

Greenwood previously worked in Human Resources at CHI St. Alexius Health but is now a facility manager in training, a promotion that also played a factor in his decision to step down. He said it is tough to work all year and save paid time off for the summer baseball season rather than for a vacation, a luxury he admits he hasn't had in three years.

"It just left my wife and I with no vacation time," he said. "She sacrificed enough for me. She didn't want me to give it up, but I just figured it's time with a new addition to the family, give a little attention to Jack. Hopefully it's just a goodbye for now and not a goodbye forever. I'd love to be able to do it again someday when the stars align again."

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