Fathers And Sons

Greetings from The Booth!

A little housecleaning to start. Congrats to the James Wood High School baseball team, which fell just short of a Class 4 state title last weekend, losing to powerful Hanover 11-0 in the title game. The Colonels, who finished 22-6, simply ran into a buzzsaw, as Hanover, last year’s runners-up, were a team on a mission. When the sting of a title game loss wears off, JWHS will look back on a great accomplishment, as they were the first Colonel baseball squad to make it to the state tournament since the 1985 team.

And, congratulations to the Clarke County High School Boys soccer team who completed an undefeated season last weekend in capturing the Class 2 title with a win over Glenvar in the championship game. The Eagles ran roughshod through their regular season opponents on the way to a 23-0 record, as they brought the hardware back to Berryville. Way to go Eagles!

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and this week’s VFB is tough to write. Father-Son relationships can be complicated, especially where sports is concerned. I think a lot of fathers live vicariously through their sons’ sports accomplishments. I certainly saw some of that growing up, although I don’t think that was the case with my dad. My father had to work at a young age and didn’t really have time for organized athletics himself, but never really pressured me or my brother to play sports.

Once we decided to play, however, my dad was more apt to criticize us than give us praise. I remember the time in Little League when I couldn’t close the deal on an otherwise good pitching performance, and he gave it to me good on the way home. There was also the time he was pretty hard on meĀ  at the only track meet he ever saw me run. That week I had come down with shin splints, and basically limped around the track in the mile run, a race I was expected to win. When an encouraging word was needed, none came.

But there was plenty of good stuff, too. My dad took me to my first major league game, between the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins at RFK Stadium. I’d never seen grass that green, or uniforms so white. There were the countless times that after long days of running a bread route for the Schmidt Baking Company, that he would throw football and teach us pass patterns, or toss us high pop ups that I thought would never come down. I don’t think my dad ever missed a Little League game. There’s the memory of my dad confronting my Midget League football coach after the season finale because I played a grand total of 26 seconds the entire season. And, it was my dad who taught me how to compile earned run and batting averages, and countless other things that solidified my love of sports.

Again, Father-Son relationships are complicated, but I choose to remember the good things as we approach Father’s Day. If your dad is still around, make sure you at least give him a phone call. Better yet, take him to a ball game.

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO DADS!

RW