In Wayne's World, Escaping Softball Talk Isn't Easy; ACD Coach Knows His Pitcher and Catcher Well -- They're His Daughters

Article excerpt

Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER, The Times-Union

Wayne Eagle has a respite at home. He has his one hideaway, a little room with a couch, rocking chair, television and a stereo.

Depending on who is telling the story, the room is either for his benefit as the only male in the household or his family's, which includes Wayne's wife, his three daughters and the dog, which is also a girl.

"When he makes us mad, we just tell him to go rock in his chair," Wayne's daughter Kristin said.

But at the softball field Wayne has no dugout to get away from the Arlington Country Day softball team, of which he is the coach. And just as when he is at home, it's his daughters that can do much of the tormenting.

Wayne, who is in his first year at the head of the Apaches softball program, is coaching two of his daughters: Brandi, the team's starting pitcher, and Kristin, the catcher. (The family's third daughter, Kaley, also plays softball, but is just seven.)

"It is a little weird," Wayne said. "But it's special."

It's not too much of a change for the Eagles. Wayne has coached his daughters since Brandi started playing T-ball at age five. He also coaches the travel team that Brandi and Kristin play for in the summer and fall, so becoming their high school coach didn't require a dramatic change.

The biggest concession came from Kristin, who did not play catcher until a few years ago. Kristin, a freshman, was a second baseman until her parents thought it would be a good experience for the two sisters to be battery mates for the two years that they will play in high school together -- Brandi is a junior.

"It was kind of a hard sell because they are so competitive," Wayne said. "We're still working the bugs out of it. Kristin will say, 'She's not hitting her spots,' and Brandi will say, 'She's not calling the right pitches.' We are working on that. They're starting to get a little better. I think the more that they will do it, the better they will get at it."

Like most sisters, Kristin and Brandi don't always see things the same way. So, that can sometimes carry over onto the field and remain after the game, especially if the three have to go home after a loss.

There is a one hour and 45-minute cooling off period after games where the three can talk about what went right, what went wrong and what has to improve for the team to get better.

"I'm not going to lie,' Kristin said, "it gets ugly sometimes."

Added Brandi: "After dinner, everyone kind of goes in their own direction. No one wants to think about losing."

While Brandi and Kristin debate pitches and location, Wayne and Brandi can lean on each other. …


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