Scott Manahan used to chastise his daughter, Emily, when she didn't throw the softball properly during a game of catch.
"Throw the ball like a man, not a girl," he would say.
The elder Manahan, who coached baseball at Watterson High School for 16 years before taking over at Hamilton Township, insisted that his daughter throw and catch as well as the boys he coached.
Her father's taunts sometimes irritated her, but Emily acknowledges that they also motivated her to throw the ball with her arm extended and with more velocity at a young age.
Those hours of playing catch have paid dividends for Emily, now a senior on the softball team at Watterson.
"Emily is probably the best defensive first baseman to come through here, and we've been blessed with a lot of very good ones over the years," coach Mike Huff said. "She has great hands and great feet, and she has a knack for getting in the right position to make a play, regardless of where the throw is coming from. That probably comes from playing catch with her dad since she was old enough to walk."
Manahan is a fourth-year starter at first base and she has made only four errors over the course of her career. She had a .970 fielding percentage as a sophomore and a .980 fielding percentage last season. Through 11 games this season, she had no errors, 56 putouts and 10 assists.
"My dad taught me all of the basics, like how to field ground balls and how to throw and catch," Emily said. "I started doing that stuff at a young age and it comes naturally now. I take a lot of pride in my defense and I spend a lot of time on things like scooping up the ball on short hops. I used to get mad when my dad told me not to throw like a girl because I am a girl, but he got me to stop short-arming my throws and I'm glad I listened to him."
Through 11 games, she was batting .351 with one home run, one double and three runs. Last year, she hit .300 and was first-team all-CCL. She hit .330 as a sophomore.
Manahan also pitches occasionally (2-0 with a 2.77 ERA).
She said her father always has been her hitting coach and Huff taught her how to pitch.
"Fast-pitch softball is incredible," he said. "If any of these baseball players think they could step in there and hit fast-pitch softball, they've got another thing coming.
"I taught Emily the basics of the game, but her mother is the driving force behind this whole thing. My wife used to catch Emily, and she's learned so much about the game that she's now an assistant softball coach at Our Lady of Peace."
Emily has given pitching lessons at Our Lady of Peace and served as an assistant for her sister Katie's fourth-grade volleyball team.
"Emily is a natural leader and she's like another coach," Huff said. "She's grown up around the game, and you can tell that she gets it. She's great with younger players."
Manahan, who has a 3.3 GPA, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her father as both an educator and coach. She is being recruited to play Division III softball by Bluffton and Muskingum. She has been offered academic scholarships from both.
"I want to be an early childhood education major with a coaching minor," Manahan said. "I love teaching and working with kids, and coaching a high school team someday is my ultimate goal. My dad's been a fantastic role model."
But Manahan has some unfinished business. Her younger brother, Matt, decided to transfer to Hamilton Township to play baseball for his father as a junior, but Emily never considered leaving Watterson.
"I want to help our team win our first district championship," she said. "Before I leave, I want to get a banner up on our gymnasium wall."
•Baseball coach Tony Cleveland honored Scott Manahan on April 17 by retiring the No. 20 uniform Manahan wore as coach at Watterson.
Cleveland, who was an assistant under Manahan the past 10 years, presented Manahan with two No. 20 uniforms encased within a glass frame before the Eagles played host to Hamilton Township that day.
In 16 seasons, Manahan led the Eagles to a 317-88 record, one state, eight district and 13 CCL titles. He was hired as a physical education teacher by Watterson in 1991 before being named dean of students in 1993 and athletics co-director in 2000. He resigned last May to accept a physical education teaching position and baseball coaching job at Hamilton Township.
"Scott deserves this because he's done so much for this program," Cleveland said. "Scott has taken Watterson baseball to another level, and nobody else will ever wear the No. 20 on this team."
Manahan wasn't informed his uniform would be retired. When Cleveland made the announcement on a microphone, he was moved.
"This has really touched me and made me feel honored and loved," he said. "I wasn't really expecting this. Watterson people do everything top of the line and this is a beautiful glass frame that must have cost someone a lot of money. The best part of it was seeing a lot of the kids that I've coached over the years, along with their parents. I was never afraid to discipline and yell and scream at my players, but I hope they know I always cared for them."
At a glance
Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Watterson baseball, softball, boys tennis, boys volleyball, track and field and boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse teams:
*April 16 -- Defeated St. Charles 7-0. Michael Mahaffey pitched a one-hitter.
April 17 -- Def. Hamilton Township 7-2. Rob Stock earned the win and Jordan Gelhaus hit a three-run home run.
*Last Friday -- Lost to DeSales 1-0
Last Saturday -- Lost to Cincinnati Loveland 6-5 and 12-5
*Last Monday -- Lost to Ready 6-5 in eight innings
*Last Wednesday -- Played Hartley
*Friday -- Home vs. Worthington Christian. Watterson won 10-0 and 12-2 last year.
Saturday -- At New Albany (doubleheader). Watterson won 4-2 last year.
*Monday -- Home vs. St. Charles
*Wednesday -- Home vs. DeSales
Of note: The Eagles were 7-5-1 overall and 2-1 in the CCL before last Wednesday.
*April 14 -- Def. DeSales 3-0. Maggie Molnar pitched a four-hitter.
*April 16 -- Lost to Ready 1-0
*Last Friday -- Def. Worthington Christian 17-1. Molnar pitched a three-hitter and Emily Manahan hit a solo home run.
Last Saturday -- Lost to Hilliard Darby 7-0
*Last Monday -- Def. Hartley 3-0
Last Tuesday -- Played Gahanna
*Today -- At DeSales
Friday-Saturday -- At Centennial Stellar Classic at Beekman Park. Watterson will play Fostoria on Friday and Minerva and Reynoldsburg on Saturday.
*Monday -- Home vs. Ready
Tuesday -- At Dublin Coffman. Watterson lost 6-5 last year.
Of note: The Eagles were 7-5 overall before last Tuesday and are 3-1 in the CCL.
April 15 -- Lost to New Albany 4-1
April 16 -- Lost to Bexley 3-2
*Last Tuesday -- Played Ready in CCL opener
Last Wednesday -- Played Worthington Kilbourne
*Today -- Home vs. Worthington Christian. Watterson won 5-0 last year.
Friday -- Home vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit. Watterson won 3-2 last year.
*Tuesday -- At DeSales. Watterson lost 4-1 last year.
Wednesday -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. Watterson lost 3-2 on April 12.
Of note: The Eagles were 3-4 overall before last Tuesday.
April 15 -- Def. Whetstone 25-19, 25-17, 25-18
April 17 -- Lost to Upper Arlington 25-22, 22-25, 29-27, 26-28, 16-14
Last Friday -- Def. Tontogany Otsego 25-11, 25-11
Last Saturday -- Lost to St. Bernard Roger Bacon 28-26, 25-20
Last Tuesday -- Played Olentangy Liberty
Last Wednesday -- Played St. Charles
Friday -- At Westerville North
Saturday -- At Westerville South vs. Gahanna Christian, South and Whetstone
Monday -- At Westerville Central
Of note: The Eagles were 4-11 overall before last Tuesday.
TRACK & FIELD
April 16 -- Boys: Lost to Whetstone 82-46; Girls: Lost to Whetstone 74-52
Last Tuesday -- Competed against Canal Winchester
Friday -- At Russ Owen/ Bexley Relays
Tuesday -- Girls: At CSG
April 15 -- Lost to Granville 11-4
April 17 -- Lost to DeSales 8-2
Last Saturday -- Lost to Cincinnati Anderson 9-8
Last Wednesday -- Played Bexley
Monday -- At Wellington
Wednesday -- Home vs. Gahanna
Of note: The Eagles were 1-5 before last Wednesday.
April 14 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 5-3
April 17 -- Def. DeSales 9-6
Today -- Home vs. Pickerington
Of note: The Eagles are 6-3 .