Mom is part-time coach, too

Published 12:02 am Monday, March 28, 2011

ERIC J. SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Teri Troxler throws a pitch to her son Dylan, 9, while practicing baseball Friday afternoon at Duncan Park in Natchez. Teri, who is a single mom, and Dylan spend most of their spare time together playing sports.

NATCHEZ —Teri Troxler has no problem filling the role of the ball-throwing father figure for her son Dylan.

Teri and her 9-year-old son, fourth grader Dylan, spent Friday afternoon breaking-in Dylan’s new baseball glove.

When The Dart landed on Duncan Park Friday, Dylan was swinging at pocketfuls of baseballs his mother pitched from the mound.

Eric J. Shelton | The Natchez Democrat — Teri Troxler and her son Dylan, 9, spent Friday afternoon at Duncan Park in Natchez. Teri, who is a single mom, and Dylan spend most of their spare time together playing sports.

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Both were dressed in uniform, Dylan in his Adams County Christian School polo and Troxler in brown scrubs from her job at Four Rivers Home Health in Vidalia.

Teri, who came prepared with her own glove, said they bought Dylan’s new glove after school, and intended to throw at the park for a few minutes to warm it up for Saturday’s tournament game with the Vidalia Vipers.

But Teri wasn’t surprised she ended up on the pitching mound after tossing the ball back and fourth.

“He wanted to hit; I knew I’d get stuck out here once we came out here to start throwing,” Teri said.

Dylan said his mother, who grew up playing softball, taught him how to play baseball.

“It’s all about ball,” Teri said of Dylan’s fourth-grade agenda.

Teri said she does not mind taking on the role of the athletic trainer and disciplinarian since she is a single mom.

She also has a daughter, Maci, 5.

“Boys are so much easier to handle than girls,” Teri said.

Dylan, who also plays football, basketball and tennis, seemed to know his mother was his No. 1 fan.

“Tell them how many I can do, Mama,” Dylan said before lunging belly-down on the baseball diamond to do push-ups.

“I’m counting,” she said. “That was eight.”

“What? No!” Dylan said.

“That was almost 10,” she said.

Teri cheers for Dylan on every team he plays on, but she favors baseball, she said.

“I love to watch him play baseball because he’s just so good at it,” Teri said.

Teri said Dylan used to sleep with his bat and glove when he was younger.

After hitting a few near the fence, Dylan wanted a turn to pitch.

“Squat down, Mama,” he yelled from the mound.

Teri was already running late to meet her sister when Dylan asked for one ore round at bat.

“I’m hitting one over (the fence) before we leave,” Dylan said.

Teri conceded.

“It’s hard to say no; he loves it so much,” she said.

Both Teri and Dylan took turns explaining that Dylan has made the all-star baseball teams since he was 6 years old. And when he was 6, he was moved up to play on the team for 7 and 8 year olds.

Dylan listed in a single breath why his mom is great.

“She’s real nice and gets me McDonalds when I want it. If ask her something real nice she says yes, but sometimes she says no.

“I love her; she taught me how to play baseball. She threw the football with me because I didn’t have anyone else to throw with,” Dylan said.

Teri said Dylan has as much energy all the time as he did on the baseball field Friday.

“24/7, he’s full of energy,” she said.

When they packed up their things to leave, the various girls and boys toys, equipment and school supplies filling the truck evidenced Teri’s full-time single-mom duty.

A member of First Baptist Church in Natchez, Teri said pulling double duty can be difficult, but she thinks God plays a big part in her family’s life.