Scott Sanders has resigned as the Crescent Valley High football coach.
He took over the program in 2007 and led the Raiders to two conference titles and several playoff appearances.
It was not a decision Sanders made lightly.
“It’s been killing me,” Sanders said Tuesday. “I’ve been weighing on it since our last game. I’ve been going back and forth.
"I’m going to truly miss the kids in our program. I feel I’ve built something strong these last years and I feel I’m abandoning them and I don’t want to do that.
“But I put really my whole job and family life on hold to rebuild this program and wanted to get back to that and take it easy for a little bit.”
A large part of the decision was based on family. His youngest child, Cam, finished his high school football career last fall and is headed to Oregon State as a preferred walkon.
His oldest child, Tanner, went to OSU and tried football and baseball before finishing his career with the basketball team. He’s headed to University of Texas to pursue a masters degree.
Daughter Corey played volleyball for the Raiders and graduated in 2016. She’s now a student at OSU.
Sanders is proud of the players who went through the program through the years and was glad to help 17 subsequently sign with Division I programs and quite a few more play in other divisions.
Sanders said the catalyst for his decision came before the Raiders made a trip to Pendleton for the first round of the 5A state playoffs last November.
He said he watched as several other teams took charter buses to games in nearby towns. But when it was time for the Raiders to make an extensive road trip, they traveled in school buses.
To Sanders, it was another sign that football lacked the support it needed from some district administrators.
Sanders, his staff and some volunteers kept the Field of Dreams and practice area in working order. There were repairs to be made and regular upkeep.
He also worked to raise money for the team every year.
“I just feel the district support has never been there for football,” Sanders said, adding that he has gotten plenty of help from CV athletic director Craig Ellingson and principal Aaron McKee.
Ellingson has been talking to Sanders since the end of the football season.
“There was definitely some frustrations throughout,” Ellingson said. “I don’t think people realize what coaches do. It’s much more that coaching. During the length time I’ve been here I’ve seen it change.
“It takes a lot of money to run a football program. I think it was just hard for him.”
Ellingson said Sanders went all-out all the time as the coach.
“He works really hard at whatever he does and he certainly did that here,” Ellingson said.
Sanders said it was just time to go. Will he consider coming back to coaching at some point?
“I don’t know, I could,” he said. “You never say never. I definitely could but right now I guess I’m worn out by doing things by myself.”