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Craig Johnson Interview
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1. How long have you been playing in the NKY/Cinci area?

     Craig Johnson:   Since I was 16 , about 15 years





2. You have been playing with Angilo's for a while now, but what are some
other teams you have played for or been associated with throughout your career?


           CJ:  I started out on a neighborhood team called Eastgate guns Outlaws,then came Spensors, then I played for Clermont Waste for 4 years, then All-star sportswear. I started playing with Brickyard after that then Angilo's.And thats where I am today.









3. Craig, I have to eat some crow here. If you read my questions with
Bill Chard, you read where I had some doubts when it came to defense for the
Angilo's squad. That interview was done early in the year and let me be the
first to say that I was wrong. I have seen you guys play pretty regularly and your
team defense has been nothing but spectacular. Angilos have always been able
to hit with the best but now with the way you guys play defense, you guys are
far and apart the best team in the area in my opinion. What have you done
defensively that have made you so much better?

              CJ:    Well, first of all we have 11 returning guys, that will help your defense just because of chemistry. We know what each others capabilities are and know how to use them to best help each other. Kevin Greene makes us infielders look good because he scoops everything, he is incredible.





4. What kind of effect has Bill Chard had on Angilo's since he has took
over as coach?

            CJ:   He has given us direction and organization. Something we really needed. He has also helped to take the pressure of raising money off our shoulders so we can play ball. we still help raise it but he organizes it.









5. Craig you guys were bumped up to "B" before the year started. Tell me the
comparison of how you felt then and how you feel about it now? Did you think
it was an injustice then or was you all for it, and has your opinion changed
since?

           CJ: I did feel it was an injustice. We won one nit in 3 years it just happened to have 27 teams of which 5 were d teams. I really felt that going into world last year it would be very hard for us to do well. Not experiencing the world tourny before, I felt we would have to be lucky to do well. This year I feel the same way I did last year it was an injustice. We can win at the B level , I knew it then  and I know it now. But we were really close to being a dominate c team. I wanted one more year there. 





6. Angilo's have played most of their careers in Ohio. Now that you guys are
playing more in NKY, which side of the river is tougher in your opinion and
why?

            CJ:  Two different styles of ball are played . In ohio , I think the emphasis is on defense, then offense. In ky just the opposite offense rules. I am a defense kind of guy, I think in ohio its tougher because of the defense.









7. Who would you say is Nky Softball.com's biggest rival is?


               CJ:   Freeze, to be the best you have to beat the best!







8. Craig you also play competitively with the mixed couples team Playin'
Dirty. They seem to be the best CO-ED team in this area right now. How do you
jostle both teams and where does each team stand on the priority list?

         CJ:  Me and the manager Kim White get together at the beginning of the year and set the schedules to not conflict with mens. She is really great about it. As for playing all the time, I have no life so its ok. 







9. Who would you say Playin' Dirty's biggest rival is?


       CJ:    AC/BC lawncare in touraments. Once again to be the best you have to beat the best.We face them in or near the fnals of almost every tourny. In leagues I would say it is Uniform Direct the have that killer instinct you need to be successful.







10. When you tell people you play co-ed do you feel you have to apologise
for it? I mean people just dont take that division very seriously and it is
often a misconception that theyre arent any good co-ed teams. What is your opinion of that misconception and how do you handle it when people poke fun at you
for playing mixed couples?

                 CJ:  I tell them to lace em up get out there and see for themseves. I would take our girls to war with me they are as or more competitve that us guys.







11. This is a fill in the blank question. The biggest misconception about

>Craig Johnson is_______?

       CJ:   Concieted. I am very confident in things I do , but the team always comes first.





12. Below are a list of positions. By each one without using any players
on the NKY Softball/Angilo's squad list who you feel is the best at these
positions. In other words this would be Craig Johnsons 2003 All star team.

CJ:


1B - Mike Kinnett, EMR
2B - Danny Blair UDF
SS - Deron Johnson
3B -
P - Bob Noeth freeze
C - Ty Burdick
2 Outfielders Darryl Hall, Keith Reganhart
AH - Jackie Collins
Coach - I dont know any coaches names. my hat is off to all coaches who put up with us cry babies and donate their time so that we can live out our dreams and  just play ball.





13. In your opinion who is the most under rated player in the area and why?


    CJ:    Kevin Greene, he is the best fielding first baseman I have ever played with or against hands down.  He also hits 680 which isnt to bad either.







14. Playing in Ohio as much as you have in the past few years, you have
played a whole lot of league and tournaments at Expressway park. This park by
far is the best in the area. Now that you are playing on the other side of the
river, do you miss these types of facilities. It seems in NKy you have to go as
far west as Rivershore to even find a park that even comes close to
Expressway. What is your favorite and least favorite park to play in?

      CJ:   Locally its Expressway, although Eggleston is a close second because of atmosphere and shade. Worst is Riverstar because of the fields and the way things are run there. Out of town its the fields we played world at in Atlanta and the worst is Berliner in Columbus



15. If you could change one thing about the state of softball today what would it be?


           CJ:   The cost ,teams are asked to come up with thousands of dollars to stay competitive which has effected the rosters on teams because players are going where thay dont have to pay. I think it has hurt the rivalries. When I first started playing year after year the same teams had the same players, it was fun building those rivalries.







16. Below are a list of names relevant to yourself and the game of softball.
By each name give one word that bests describes each one in your opinion.



CJ:

Craig Johnson - 110%
Playin Dirty - fun
Kevin Larison - fast
Easton Synergy - illegal
Bill Chard - coach
Brandon Johnson - brother
Andy Isles - competitor
Huddy Park - wings
Rick Dunaway - cool guy
Best team in Nky - Angilos
Best team in Cincy - Freeze







17. What would you say is your most embarrasing moment while playing the game of softball?


     CJ:    When I played with Spensors we were playin in the D metro and they put me in right field. i missed every thing that was hit my way. I single handedly gave up 15 runs.







18. How long did it take yourself to hit that little "judy" shot that you
have to right field? Most guys who hit opposoite field make it look pretty much obvious what they are trying to do. But my hats off to you because you look all pull but still hit it opposite feild with extreme success. Did it take you a longtime to accomplish this?

    CJ:  2 years ago I started working on it in the cages.It comes and goes sometimes I am real effective others I look like an E ballplayer. I would say it took me about 6 months.











19. Craig go ahead and give me your top 5 in the NKY/Cincy area.

   CJ:    these are based on 4 home run limit It would change the more home runs allowed

1. Freeze
2. Perkins
3. K & G Watanabe
4. Angilos
5. Lucke Homes







20. If your softball career was over tomorrow how would you like people to
remember Craig Johnson as a player?

        CJ: He played as hard as he could all the time and never quit till the last out was made. I would hope people would say , I was a competitor and a winner.







21. And finally where in the world did you get those ugly purple and red
pants you play in every now and then? Those have to be the ugliest pants I have
ever seen! LOL!!!

        CJ:    Those pants are from my days with Clermont Waste. I love those pants.You should see the shirts.