Good coaches, bad parents?

It was almost the perfect Saturday for Magnolia’s Pam Chapman.

Earlier last week, I was trying to get in touch with the Blue Eagles’ head volleyball coach to talk about her team and their chances to win a state title in Charleston.

Not long after I sent her a text message, she replied back and asked if it was OK for her to buzz me in about a half hour because she and husband Dave — Magnolia’s football coach — were on their way back from Wheeling Jesuit.

After some volleyball talk, she informed me her youngest daughter Kelsi — a freshman basketball player for the Cardinals — was in a bit of a glum mood.


Well, neither mom nor dad were going to be able to make the trip to the Keystone State and watch her first collegiate hoops game at the Shippensburg Wolf Bus Lines Classic. Thus, they decided to pay her a visit, spend some family time together and have dinner.

Although the youngest Chapman didn’t get a lot of playing time during the Cardinals’ come-from-behind 90-79 triumph against East Stroudsburg, the point was she didn’t have her family there to support her.

Also, it marked the first time at least one of her parents weren’t in attendance at one of her athletic events.

When Pam told me that, I informed her I was going to have to nominate them for a “bad parents” of the year award.

Of course, there was little either could do. Pam was off to coach the Blue Eagles in Charleston, where Magnolia won its first Class A crown. Dad helped lead the Blue Eagles to an “upset” at Pendleton County, 28-6, in a No. 8/9 opening round playoff showdown.

“Kelsi? They won she said. They came back and won,” an excited Pam said while laughing after I asked her how Kelsi was doing soon after they had the championship team picture.

“She was all excited, so I guess we are not the bad parents of not being there and watching her first collegiate basketball game.”

It truly was just a funny moment, but it showed how important family is. That goes beyond just the bloodlines because good athletic teams are generally tight-knit like family.

“Yeah, yeah,” said Dave when I told him I heard from his better half that Kelsi was doing OK. “It’s the first time I’ve missed her playing anything. We’ll probably drive four hours (today) to go watch her, but yeah, she knows we are with her. I had that game at Pendleton. Honestly, I picked Friday hoping this day would happen. There was no way I was going to miss this and I can’t be happier for Pam.

“That’s a family thing, too. You know that. We put a lot of time into what we do, but Pam will be the first to tell you it’s all about those kids and that’s (the state title) pretty special. Not just for her, but for myself, Mallory and Kelsi. We live this stuff, the good and bad of it. But today is a pretty special day for the Chapman family.”

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