John Woodruff is celebrating his 30th season as a head softball coach in the South Bend School Corporation this season. He was head coach at LaSalle for 20 years and has spent the last 10 years at Adams.
Guess what all those years means? That some of his former players are now old enough to be head coaches too.
Katie Knight Rodriguez is in her first season as Clay's head coach after spending the last several as one of Woody's assistants. As a player, Katie helped Woody win multiple NIC and Sectional Championships at LaSalle.
Tuesday they were battling each other for the first time as head coaches.
I thought it would be a little intimidating but you know, we're going to be ok," Katie says with a laugh moments before the game with Woody standing next to her. "Everything I've learned, everything you are going to see out here I've learned from being one of his players and also coaching underneath him for the last couple of seasons at Adams. He's an amazing coach, an amazing mentor but I really want to win today."
"You help raise them and they come back and try to beat you," Woodruff says laughing. "I'm impressed with her. She's just a great kid and she really deserves the best out here. But I am going to beat her today."
Both shared a laugh, exchanged scorecards and returned to their respective dugouts. And it was a tight battle. Clay took the early 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning with Adams tying the game in the 4th.
In the end, the mentor took home the win, 3-2.