As a senior baseball player at Trinity, Phillip Childs has seen and experienced a lot. But one thing about this year is unlike any he’s played before, because he’s sharing the dugout with his brother.
Daniel Childs is a sophomore and, despite their relative proximity in age, the duo were never paired on the same teams growing up. The closest they got was playing whiffle ball in the front yard together.
“It got pretty intense, but it was fun at the same time,” Phillip recalled.
Trojans head coach Will Averitt made the decision to give Daniel a shot with the varsity squad, and he took advantage.
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“He was doing everything we asked him to do,” Averitt said. “We thought coming out of last year that he’d have a chance.”
Phillip says he wasn’t so sure about the decision.
“I was surprised, because I thought, honestly, that he still should have been on JV,” Phillip said, perhaps joking, perhaps not. “But we got into the tournaments and he ended up hitting better than me, I think. I was pretty frustrated because he talked a lot of stuff.”
“I was really excited because it was my first year to play on varsity and also my brother’s senior year, so I was very excited,” Daniel added. “I was really pumped up for the season. I couldn’t wait for it to come.”
The siblings aren’t just on the same team, they share the outfield — with Phillip in center and Daniel in right — and Phillip follows Daniel in the batting order.
“The first day of practice he was batting two-hole and I was batting third, so it was cool to see the lineup read, “Childs-Childs,” Phillip said.
As you might expect, the pair treat each other a little differently than they do other players.
“If one of us messes up, we get on to each other harder than a typical teammate would,” Phillip said. “But when we do something good, we get plenty excited. We do our handshake.”
“I really respect his decisions,” Daniel added. “It’s not just me that looks up to him, it’s really the whole team. I just take into consideration when he tries to help me fix a problem that most of the time he’s right about stuff.”
Of course, sometimes he’s wrong.
“I try to mentor him, but sometimes he doesn’t listen to me and he does his own thing,” Phillip said. “And sometimes he’s right. Then he tells me I need to start learning from him instead of me mentoring him.”
Averitt has been nothing shy of thrilled with the dynamic the lively brothers have brought to the team.
“Phillip has been great about it; he’s been a great big brother,” Averitt said. “I don’t have to police Daniel at all, Phillip does it for me. He knows when to tell him to calm down or when to do this or that. He’s not too firm with him. It’s been fun to watch. I think the others see that as well and sort of police each other. I think they see the way he’s handled a little brother and it makes it more of a family thing, like they’re all brothers.”
The season — likely the only one they’ll ever get to share — is more than halfway over now. That isn’t lost on either of them.
“I think it about it every game,” Phillip said. “Just seeing him out there having fun and then me batting behind him, when I bring him in, it’s pretty cool.”
“I take every single big moment,” Daniel said. “Like when he knocks me in or we both steal a base. I definitely take those as a blessing and I try to just soak in the moment because I know it isn’t going to last forever.”