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Rallying around a coach
Local youth coach has given his time to our kids. Now, federal employees can give their time to him.

 Coach Billy Greer runs drills with a young player's help before a game in spring 2005.
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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 12/17/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

UNTIL MY KIDS began play- ing sports, I really didn't know much about youth coaches--the men and women who give their time and effort to provide children a foundation in athletics.

As superhuman as some of these devoted individuals seem to be, we learned recently that one of our coaches--one who stands out for many area families--is susceptible as anyone to life-changing illness. If you happen to be a federal employee with annual leave to share, you couldn't make a more welcome donation.

But let me offer a little personal perspective first. When I was young, my parents gave me a choice: Little League baseball (which was all there was way back then), or Boy Scouts. Since my dad was the Scoutmaster, the question was pretty much answered before it was asked. I guess my dad was a coach in the sense that he helped mold many young boys into solid young men.

My kids are just 10 and 11, but they've already had many baseball, soccer, and basketball coaches over the years, and all of them have shown a selfless devotion to the kids and the sport. We've had winning seasons and winless seasons, but when the games are over, the kids always come away better off from the experience. They've learned sportsmanship.

Parents often live these experiences vicariously through their children. My dad's Scouting youth was interrupted by the Depression, so when I received my Eagle, I'm sure he felt a well-deserved share of the pride--and that he'd finally earned his Eagle as well.

Because I was never involved in organized youth sports, my kids' athletic pursuits are a thrill and a source of pride for me. I want them to have fun and be the best they can be as they live experiences that eluded me.

In February 2005, my son decided he'd focus on baseball. To raise his level of competition, we signed him up for the Spotsylvania Babe Ruth Baseball league.

Babe Ruth officials held what they call a "one-day look" on a blustery March Saturday to give the coaches an idea of the talent they had to choose from. The coaches later got together, held a draft, and selected their teams.


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