How it all began

The year was 1982 and my daughter's best friend Mary told her dad to pick my daughter for his new girl's t-ball team. Coach Larry did just that, then asked me if I would like to help him coach. My first reaction was, "Hey, I've played men's softball for several years but I don't know anything about coaching kids - especially girls - LITTLE GIRLS! - and T-BALL?!?

Needless to say I ended up on the field teaching what I knew to a group of 8 year olds. The Rainbows as they were called, were a real challenge. We played games behind schools and on oversized boys fields - any where the recreation could stick us. Things were going just fine. Without looking at the score book, I don't remember what our 'record' was. My daughter and her friend were having a great time - and really so was I. And then it happened.

Coach Larry informed me after a game one afternoon that the team would be mine for the rest of the season; he and his family were going to Connecticut for "the rest of the summer." Me? THE COACH? I'm just an assistant coach. Hey, I'm just here because...The season went on, my wife and I keeping score in a spiral note book (which I still have) and some how we made it through.

I enjoyed myself so much and my daughter wanted to keep playing so when she moved up to the 9-10s - Fast Pitch, I was there as HEAD COACH and Mary was now on MY team. Her dad, "Coach Larry" was my assistant coach.

That spring I was offered my choice of two teams, one called the "Hobos" and the other the "SweetHearts". I took the one that sounded more like a girl's team. I think I made the right choice. After two years my daughter was ready to move up again and I chose to stay with the SweetHearts and as they say, "That's now history."

I coached my team, assisted on her teams, coached two teams at once during those next eight years but always loved my "SweetHearts". As I tell them, "Once a SweetHeart, always a SweetHeart".

Over the years various coaching opponents have joked that I should change the name to a "tougher sounding name". Today they're out of the game, no longer coaching and their teams just a distant memory while the SweetHearts are heading into our second quarter century.

As for me, I've enjoyed the years coaching and this is definitely not ...


SweetHearts Website copyright 2008 by Greg English