The Mosley Lady Dolphin softball team returned a wealth of experience this season, with many of the girls playing together since they were young. But there's one relationship on the team that's extra special- and that's the one between second baseman Brooke Wilke and her dad, who is Mosley's head coach.
For most athletes, time at practice is a break from home life- but for Brooke- home life comes to practice, as head coach is also dad.
"Expectations are higher for Brooke- I'll tell you that right now," said dad, and coach, Brian Wilke. "I'm going to expect more of her."
"It's tough at times," laughed Brooke. "We do sometimes get into it, but I've gotten better as I've gotten older. I try to bite my tongue a little bit. If I do do something wrong, he does punish me just like he would any other kid."
Those high expectations have given Brooke motivation- and her stats prove it, as the slap hitter is batting .444 for the Lady Fins, with five stolen bases, and scoring seven times.
"I don't want to mess up in practice and them think I'm a favorite being played," said Brooke. "I want to prove myself that I can play. Not just because he's coach, or my dad, but because I earned the spot."
There's no question Brooke's earned the respect- as she's made several flashy plays as a middle infielder in her four years as a letter winner, earning All-County honors every season. But it's not just on the field where Brooke excels- as carries a 4.5 weighted GPA and has already finished 30 hours of college credits.
"Where some kids it's always a chore, Brooke's always loved doing it," said Coach Wilke. "She's always very responsible as far as coming home and doing her homework. We haven't had to motivate her, she's always self motivated. It's always been easy for us."
"You have to set your priorities straight," said Brooke. "I feel like I've balanced it pretty well. You have to make sure you get your grades done- but you also have to make sure you're focused out here on the field."
That focus led Brooke to make a tough decision- as she's giving up her dream of playing in college to focus on her future- becoming at PT.
"I know that takes a lot of focus, and I'd rather focus on my grades in school," she said of her decision.
"We have Senior night, and we'll do a little special thing," said Coach Wilke. "It'll probably hit me then that softball might be over for me here with Brooke. It'll be a sad day. I may not cry- but I'll be crying on the inside. I'll try to keep it in."
Spoken like a true dad.