Sometimes, dads have big feet.
When traditions and heritage are in question, a father’s footsteps may seem like size 22 EEE to a son.
The imprint is huge and hard to fill.
But then, there’s the approach Nate Naylor takes when he travels in the same circles as his father Kevin.
Nate follows the path Kevin has left behind, and rubs it out along the way.
That’s the kind of relationship the Naylors have. They are father and son, and colleagues who work in the same profession. It is the basis of some competitive fun, too.
If you didn’t know, the Naylors have turned the South Hagerstown boys and girls basketball programs into the family business.
Kevin is the fourth-year head coach of the boys, while Nate is in his second year guiding the girls.
Both have brought a level and higher standard of success to a school which has struggled to be consistent and unable to always fully display its level of talent.
Meanwhile, it has sparked a bit of a friendly rivalry that both relish.
This year we were introduced to a sibling rivalry as brothers faced off in the Super Bowl. Now in Hagerstown, take a look at the family feud in basketball, especially now as both teams begin their quest for a Maryland Class 3A state championship.
The NFL has the Harbaughs. Area basketball has a father-son act that plays hardball.
“I’ve always kind of taken it as a challenge to be as successful as he has been,” Nate said. “I have to match the success. … That’s the rivalry.”
This isn’t the traditional father-son coaching story.
Kevin never coached Nate after youth leagues.
Nate didn’t learn the ropes from Kevin by absorbing his constant directions.
Instead, Nate watched and collected information. He took what he liked from people he met and made his own style after playing at North Hagerstown and Thomas Johnson.
“His main man is (former Thomas Johnson coach) Tom Dickman, not me,” said Kevin.
“It’s a lot easier for me,” Nate said. “I watched how (Kevin) approached things over the years. I got to see what mistakes he made and I won’t do them and I try to do the things he does well.”
Parasiliti: Naylors enjoy family rivalry while guiding Rebels hoops
Bob Parasiliti (Joe Crocetta / April 15, 2012)