Friday, 19 Jul 2024

Former Strikkers Softball Coach Arrested on Drug Charges

By Football Expert

In a shocking turn of events, a former coach of the Gilroy Strikkers softball team has been arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale. Lino De La Cruz, a well-liked coach within the San Jose softball organization, was taken into custody along with his wife Sonya after allegations of drug dealing surfaced.

Betrayal and Shock within the Softball Community

The news of De La Cruz’s arrest was met with disbelief and disappointment by the head of the San Jose Strikkers softball travel team, Ernie Garcia. Garcia felt betrayed upon learning that one of his coaches, whom he held in high regard, was allegedly involved in drug-related activities. He expressed deep regret that he had not been aware of De La Cruz’s association with drugs and stated that he would never have allowed him to coach if he had known.


Concerns for Player Safety

Garcia’s primary concern now lies with the well-being of his players. He is taking immediate action to ensure that all future coaches undergo thorough background checks, which he will personally finance. This proactive approach stems from his determination to protect his team and prevent any similar incidents in the future.

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Rise and Fall of a Once-Respected Coach

Lino De La Cruz started coaching the Strikkers’ age 14-and-under division team in 2005 and was initially well-received by both parents and players. However, his punctuality issues and frequent absences raised concerns among the parents. Despite believing that these problems were of a personal nature, Garcia dismissed De La Cruz multiple times before officially parting ways with him last month.


Discovering the Truth

It was only during a softball tournament in Colorado that Garcia received a phone call from a parent in Gilroy who informed him of De La Cruz’s alleged drug connection. This revelation left Garcia devastated, as the Strikkers organization prides itself on its commitment to its members and their future success, including earning scholarships.

Taking Legal Action

Following complaints received by the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team, agents arrested Lino De La Cruz and Sonya in June. A subsequent search of their hotel room uncovered methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia commonly used for distribution and sale. Lino De La Cruz was later apprehended when he was spotted by a park ranger at a campground.

Softball Field

Expert Advice and Moving Forward

Mark Colla, UNET Commander, expressed concern about De La Cruz’s involvement with young athletes and urged the public to remain aware. As for Garcia, he acknowledges the need for stricter screening processes to ensure the safety of his players and to prevent such incidents from occurring again.


Q: How did the San Jose Strikkers softball organization respond to the arrest?

A: The head of the organization expressed shock and disappointment and pledged to implement background checks for all future coaches.

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Q: Are there any indications that players were directly affected by the coach’s drug-related activities?

A: There is no evidence to suggest that the coach’s activities directly impacted the players. However, the organization is taking immediate action to address safety concerns.

Q: What is the Strikkers organization’s primary goal?

A: The organization is dedicated to its members’ success, including obtaining scholarships for the girls and helping them excel both on and off the field.


The arrest of a former coach within the San Jose Strikkers softball organization on drug charges has shaken the local sports community. With a renewed focus on player safety and a commitment to rigorous background checks, the organization aims to prevent any similar incidents in the future. The Strikkers organization remains dedicated to the development and success of its members, on and off the softball field.