The pitcher’s mound fits that role for baseball, but it’s also a special place for Team Edwards. They’ve been getting family mound portraits since 2010. The life of a coach’s wife for Sarah Edwards is a picture of how family can surround the game.
Ryan said Sarah provides stability in a giving way.
“She’s very selfless to do it that way,” said Ryan, who has been married to Sarah for 14 years. “She puts what I do before her needs and desires when it comes to attending the games. She really finds joy in it.”
Ryan said he tries to repay Sarah’s kindness.
“I have to be sensitive to the things she wants to do,” he said. “Maybe we can do things in the offseason that meets those needs. Obviously that’s a marriage thing, but I definitely call her very selfless.”
Sarah said she understands the time and pressure Ryan faces.
“Being a coach is a job that can be very time consuming,” said Sarah, who is a stay-at-home mom. “But I believe if as a wife and a mom I can keep the focus on family experiences and relationships, we will have a great time and that is a simple way to be an encouragement to Ryan.”
Baseball = family
Sarah said baseball is a family event in the Edwards household.
“I have lots of people ask me, as we get close to baseball season, if I’m looking forward to it and my answer has always been yes,” she said. “For us it’s a time of making lots of memories as a family, as well as with the ’Topper baseball family we are adopted into each year. Our kids refer to all their friends they make as their ‘baseball siblings.’ ”
As the kids have gotten older — Lydia is 11, Luke is 10, Lexi is 7 and Laken is 4 — life’s curveball breaks a little bit sharper.
“Luke started to play his own baseball schedule, and the other three girls have their things going with soccer and that kind of stuff,” said Ryan. “She’s the one, basically all spring long, running the kids all the directions and trying to be at all of our games as much as much as possible. The only time she misses is when it’s a far trip, or a conflict with the kids’ activities. But even for the overnight trips, we bring them along whenever we can.”
Baseball is a uniting force for the family.
“It brings us together as a family,” said Ryan. “I’m thankful the girls are just as much into the Hilltoppers as anybody. All of our kids love it, and they know all of the players’ names and numbers. They are fans, and they love to go to football and basketball games, too.”
Ryan previously coached in college and went through year-round battles in the recruiting game. His move to high school baseball has allowed Sarah and his kids to be an integral part of the picture.
Without Sarah’s support, Ryan said his life would likely be quite different.
“I’ve always told her I’m thankful she likes what I do,” said Ryan. “If not, I would not enjoy it. I know they can’t always be there, but if my coaching was in conflict with my family I would have trouble staying with it.”
Other sports families
Sarah said she thinks other married couples can share in the positive aspects of supporting each other through sports.
“I encourage them to get in there and be a part of whatever sport your spouse is coaching,” said Sarah. “Be at as many games as possible, make it more than just ‘their’ thing and make it a family thing!”