Former Billies baseball leader earns all-star nod
Former players and Texas baseball figures honored one of Fredericksburg’s top coaches.
David Mayfield, a long-time baseball coach at Fredericksburg High School, received one of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Star Game’s coaching spots.
The game was canceled but it didn’t stop a group of Mayfield’s players from recognizing his work during a gathering Saturday.
“It was quite an honor,” Mayfield said. “I keep telling everybody that the committee must have run out of names before they picked me.”
THSBCA Hall of Fame coach Diz Reeves presented Mayfield with a ring commemorating his selection in front of former players and their families.
Mayfield guesses about 30 former players where there, with Jeff Stehling, an FHS class of 1979 graduate who played on Mayfield’s first team, as the oldest and 1996 grad Jeremy Ottmers as the youngest.
Mayfield started as an assistant at FHS in 1978, working under long-time St. Mary’s coach Tony Knopp for one year.
“I learned more from Tony in one year than I did for the rest of my life,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield took over in 1979 and led the Billies for 16 years before calling it a career in 1994.
The Billies won five district championships during his tenure, advanced to the postseason seven times and made it to the state tournament in 1991.
The retired coach still does what he can to help the baseball program.
He acts as the groundskeeper for the baseball field he helped built in 1986 and considers a “member of his family.”
Mayfield planted the first seeds of grass at FHS’ current home and started working on planting ivy along the outfield wall in 2017.
He also works with FHS baseball players during the offseason, spending three days a week from October to February getting the Billies ready for the upcoming season.
It’s a favor for FHS’ current coach, Derrick Dietrich, who played under Mayfield in the 1980s.
“Derrick is a great, great coach and he’s the key to the school’s success,” Mayfield said. “He’s the right man for the job. He makes quality players.
Mayfield credits the class of 1983 for growing the Battlin’ Billies baseball program.
Among the class of 1983 players were Michael Friederich, a Houston Astros second-round pick in 1983 and one of two players in FHS history drafted straight out of high school; Tony Faz, the first-ever baseball captain for Schreiner in Kerrville and FHS’ first THSBCA all-star; Darren Schneider and Danny Flores.
All four started as freshman and set the tone for FHS baseball under Mayfield’s turn.
“They set the foundation for whatever success may have occurred going forward the next 15 years,” Mayfield said. “Every little kid in town grew up wanting to be like those guys.”