Father, son enjoy player-coach relationship

Matt and Adam Boyer

Matt and Adam Boyer

By STEPHEN GLOVER

In baseball, like many other sports, there’s always a unique relationship be-tween player and coach.

But for the Oakville American Legion’s Adam Boyer, the relationship between player and manager is intertwined with the relationship between a son and his father.

Adam’s father, Matt, has been the manager of the American Legion varsity baseball team for the past two seasons and has been his coach since Adam started playing T-ball when he was 5 years old.

Matt not only is involved with the Oakville American Legion baseball team, but also the Heine Meine Baseball Association. That has created a unique balance between his job at Stemmerich Inc. for the past 22 years and his dedication to baseball.

“It all goes hand in hand with what I do at Heine Meine and the Oakville Legion program,” Matt said. “This gives these kids something to do in the summer, and once August hits, I know that things are basically done and I have a normal life again with some free time to myself.”

One thing that Matt has enjoyed watching over the years is his son maturing not only as a baseball player, but also as young man.

“From little league to high school, it’s always nice to see them mature,” Matt said. “Once they get into high school though, they need to separate themselves from that father-son relationship to more of a player-and-coach relationship.”

Adam quickly realized that being the coach’s son didn’t mean a “free pass,” so to speak, but rather a more scrutinizing eye on how he handled himself on and off the field.

“At times he can be a little bit harder on me than the others,” Adam said. “He made that extra effort to push me to make me a better player.”

This past season, Adam carried a .380 batting average with 24 runs batted in as Oakville’s center fielder. He also led the team in runs scored (48), stolen bases (21) and trip-les (6) this season. On the mound, he appeared in eight games where he boasted a 1.58 earned run average with 15 strikeouts.

Matt believes that Adam’s hard work on and off the field not only helped improve his game, but also distinguished the fact that he was not treated any different than the other players on his team.

“As far as player-wise, Adam works very hard because he feels like he’s got to prove himself more,” Matt Boyer said. “He’s one of the hardest workers that I’ve coached.”

Adam graduated from Oakville Senior High School this spring and plans to attend Maryville University to pursue a degree in accounting and play on the Saints’ baseball team. He’s slated to play in left field, but also could see time on the mound as a pitcher or behind the plate as a catcher.

Matt has seen countless memorable moments watching his son play the game they both enjoy. But the most memorable moment happened at the Show-Me State Games when Adam was in sixth grade.

“The most memorable moment for me probably goes back to little league down at the Show-Me Games and he hit his first home run over the fence,” Matt recalled. “When he rounded third base, he had a big grin that was ear to ear. That was probably the most memorable moment for me.”