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As most you who know me, I’m into sports – have been all my life, as a player, coach, umpire, scorekeeper, etc.
Well this week past week my father passed away, a little short of four years after my mother passed.After the early grieving and sadness, you start to think back to things you and your parents shared and experienced together – even if it came later in life.
Flash back about 40 years ago and I was just a normal kid growing up in Clarksville playing sports, baseball mostly, and experiencing what most kids experience.
But one thing that didn’t get to happen as much was my parent getting to watch me play, with my mother working the second shift (3:00pm-11:00pm) at the old Memorial/Gateway Hospital) and my father working roads and grounds at Fort Campbell and not getting home as 5:00pm or 5:30pm and going to a ball field wasn’t always something he felt like doing.
Now I’m not complaining, I never felt cheated, because they came when they could and I knew they loved me and had to work to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.
Now flash forward about 20 years and I’m the head softball coach at Austin Peay.
My father is retired and my mother is all but retired, just picking up a shift here and there at the hospital – more to have something to do than needing the money.
But something else also happened – they started to come to the Lady Govs softball games to watch me coach.
I’m not saying they came to them all, because games started in February and it’s too cold for them to come out and sit in that type or weather.
But as the weather warned up they would come and watch, sit in the stands and not really say anything, but just watch.
Neither one really knew much about the game, but they were there just to watch me.
It had been a long time since I thought about them coming to those games, when they really didn’t need too, but they did.
I was also fortunate that Austin Peay gave me the opportunity to coach and have them get a second chance to see me enjoy sports and do what I loved to do.
What I wouldn’t give to have that second chance one more time.
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.
Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.
Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.
Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
TopicsAPSU, APSU Lady Govs, APSU Softball, APSU Women's Softball, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Clarksville TN, February, Fort Campbell, Fort Campbell KY, Gateway Hospital, Gateway Medical Center, Memorial Hospital
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