Juanita N Lewis Mary K Hilterbran Jack D Reed ‘I had no gumption except to get high’ Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after nearly six decades apart Freedom Festival to honor the American Flag ‘Music and Memory’ at Adams County Manor renews lives lost to dementia Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy takes gold at 2017 Ohio Police and Fire Games Toole awarded Winchester Alumni Scholarship Lady Devils host Summer Varsity Shootout In 14U, Peebles finishes regular season with blowout win Der professionelle Basketball-Traum Local pair attend Wabash College Wrestling Camp Shootouts in the summer time Eight dollars and three keys When life gets messy Hot summer days were no sweat Janice McGlothin Jeannine O Evans Gerald Grooms Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott

Playing for Dad

In his first year at the helm of the West Union Lady Dragons varsity basketball program, Coach J.R. Kirker had the honor of coaching his own daughter Mckenzie. Photo by Mark Carpenter

Local players, coaches talk about the pros and cons of parents coaching their own – 

By Mark Carpenter – 

“I’ll have the things my father provided. I never want to put pressure on my daughter or son. If he had put pressure on me, I might have been a good player. But who knows how much I would have liked it–or loved the game like I do.”
Those are the words of former NBA All-Star Allan Houston,who played for his father Wade at the University of Tennessee, one of many examples of sons and daughters who have been coached by their own parent.
It happens everywhere from the lowest levels of youth sports all the way to the highest levels of college and professional sports. Parents coaching their own kids. Youth sports thrive on parent-coaches with an estimated 90% of youth coaches having one or more children of their own on their teams. Studies have shown that parent involvement is an important part of a child’s athletic experience, but with the “coaching my own kid” territory comes a lot of questions and in most cases, a good bit of extra pressure on both ends.
Here in Adams County, there are numerous instances of parents who coach their own children, all the way from the Pee-Wee levels to the local high school teams. What are the pros and cons of being on the sideline with a youngster that also lives in your home? Is there extra pressure to perform? Is the parent-coach tougher on his/her own kid that others? Are the expectations higher that your child will be the “superstar”? Are there the whispers in the crowd that your child is only playing because you are the coach?
The Defender talked to a number of local high school coaches and their children who are part of this fraternity of parents coaching their own for their reactions.
J.R. Kirker recently completed his first season as the coach of the West Union Lady Dragons varsity basketball squad. As tough as it was to adjust to coaching at the varsity level, Kirker also had to deal with having his daughter Mckenzie on the team.
Kirker coached his daughter at the Pee-Wee and junior high levels and Mckenzie saw a difference immediately.
“Oh, he’s way harder now,” she said. “He likes to yell at me more and sometimes the car rides home are not that fun. I do get an occasional ‘you did good in the game.’ Overall though, I really do love playing for my Dad. I figure he knows what he is doing most of the time.”
“It’s probably one of the hardest things to do really,” says J.R. about coaching his daughter. “But it is also the greatest thing that you will ever do. I am probably harder on her, taking her out of the game quicker than I might others, but I feel like I have a lot of daughters out there.”

The Meades, from left, Cole, Rob, and Trey.

“You just have to cherish these moments because a lot of people don’t get to coach their own kids and I consider myself fortunate. Blink your eye and they’re gone”
One of the most well-known sports families in Adams County is the Meade family from North Adams. Dad Rob was an exceptional athlete for the Devils himself and returned to his alma mater as a teacher and now a basketball and baseball coach for many years. In the course of that career, he has coached his oldest set of twins,Cole and Trey, in both sports.
“I have been fortunate to coach my boys,” says Rob. “It comes with both pros and cons but is well worth it. Sports is what we do. Just like other fathers across the country have shared their vocational passions-farming, banking, law, medicine-I shared my passion for sports. It was a joy to watch them get to wear the North Adams jerseys.”
“I’m sure there were situations that I’ve taken my frustration out on them when I was upset over something unrelated to them and I know that was tough on them. Both of the boys want to coach in the future and I hope spending so much time with me in the gym played a huge part in those aspirations.”
Cole and Trey are both now members of the Rio Grande University baseball program and both say they enjoyed having Dad as a coach.
“You learn more about the game than anyone else because you always have your teacher nearby,” said Cole. “It definitely made me closer with my Dad and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Of course, if you mess up you might hear it more than someone else.”
“I loved every minute of having my Dad as a coach,” says Trey. “It was a great feeling to share the success I had growing up with him. It allowed me to create memories that will last a lifetime. I knew what he expected, and for me, that allowed me to focus on just the game itself.”
“There weren’t too many cons to having him as a coach. On rare occasions we would bring disagreements home but we were usually pretty good at separating the two. I don’t know if I could have been half the player I was if it wasn’t for him.”
For Rob, the story isn’t over. His second set of twins, Seth and Cade, are moving up to high school and Dad is set to lead the way again.
Says Rob, “Coaching Cade and Seth in the future will have similar pros and cons but I am looking forward to making memories with them just the same.”
(Look for Part Two of this story in next Wednesday’s edition of The People’s Defender.)

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