It’s finally here again – softball season. Our family loves sports: football, soccer, baseball, biking, you name it. This is completely due to Daddy’s influence; I mean, the man just knows sports.

I have often said he would have made a great coach, or even sports commentator (but he hates the small talk). He even predicted with painful detail what was going to happen in the remaining second of that now famous college football game.

He is a preacher, a teacher and a student of human behavior, but he is also a pretty fierce athlete (raquetball) and knows more about any sport than anyone I can think of. He could probably tell you the rules and regulations of curling. I rest my case.

My beloved has little girls at home now. They play soccer and softball. He volunteered to be a coach on the middle girl’s softball team this year but they were already “staffed.” He agreed to be an assistant. He is humble and just wants our baby and her teammates to have the best season possible.

For weeks he has had our girl out catching, throwing and batting; not because he has some sort of obsession with his kid being the best, but because he loves the game, any game, and he knows practice makes you better.

If you are good at it, you’ll enjoy it more. If you enjoy it, you’ll want to continue playing. These things lead to a lifetime of health and fitness; sometimes they even lead to college scholarships! Just ask our beaming neighbors, John and Kathy Mitchell. Their daughters grew up playing softball in Opelika (Kathy praises Stephanie Brown at OHS for instilling the love for softball in her daughter’s lives).

I know softball takes a backseat to baseball in most small towns, but I am here to say we take it pretty seriously as softball parents. You should be at one of our games! Last night kicked off our season with the Tigers taking on a much more put together, seasoned team, the Rebels.

We looked something like the “Bad News Bears.” There was an unfortunate uniform mix up, and we ended up with gold and black shirts after being told to have navy shorts. It didn’t really matter to our 10- and 11-year-olds. They did what girls that age do – they kicked the dirt, chatted with each other and then got serious when the dad/coaches called them out.

I was proud of the Tigers. It didn’t matter that they lost. It was their first game together; they will get better. I was proud to watch my sweet assistant coach gently instruct players to be ready and to swing level. He is such a positive guy.

And, near the end, when our girl stepped up to the plate, she let two strikes and three balls get by her without taking a swing at any of them. But when the pressure was all it could be, she hit a grounder down the third base line past the Rebels players. When it was finally retreived and overthrown a couple of times, she was crossing home. God bless her, she had hit a home run. This is going to be a fun season.

Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.