It's a family affair at Forest Park

By Jeffery Armstrong

Most sports teams usually say they are close-knit like a family.

That statement really rings true for the Forest Park Panthers baseball team, an organization that truly is one big family.

Two sets of brothers and one set of cousins play on the Panther baseball team and they all enjoy playing with each other. They've also enjoyed being on a winning team this season n Forest Park has sprinted to seven wins in its first eight games.

The elder statesman of the brother combination is senior infielder/pitcher Josh Froneberger. This season, he is joined on the Panthers by younger brother Isaiah, who is a freshman pitcher and outfielder.

"It's cool to have [Isaiah] on the team with me. He's smart and he knows what to do on the field," said Josh. "He likes to copy me and do typical little brother stuff. Sometimes, he even listens to what I tell him."

Isaiah, who currently leads the Panthers with four home runs, said it really is fun to play on the same team with his big brother.

"I do listen to Josh. He's always telling me to take the ball to left field," Isaiah said. "This has been a great learning experience for me."

The other brother combo on the Panthers is junior outfielder Kyle Garner and sophomore utility player Cody Garner.

Both brothers said they are having a good time this season.

"It's cool to have someone on the team who you can relate to," said Kyle. "We've only played together a couple of times in rec ball so this is nice right now."

Cody said playing on the same high school team brings back memories of when they played ball as kids.

"Kyle hasn't played on many winning teams, so it's cool that we can share our good early-season run together," said Cody, who admitted he's the more outspoken and competitive of the two brothers.

Antonio and Cordaryl Kendrick are cousins who've been around each other so much, they probably feel like they're brothers. Both are freshmen with Cordaryl the older of the cousins by five months.

"It's natural to be on the same team with Cordaryl n we've been playing baseball together since we were five and six years old," said Antonio, who plays third base, left field and pitches. "We help each other with our fielding and our hitting as much as possible."

Cordaryl agreed.

"We talk about all kinds of stuff and really help each other when it comes to hitting and fielding," said Cordaryl, who pitches and plays second base. "In fact, he hits better than I do, but I field better than he does. So I guess our talks have helped each other."

First-year Panthers head coach Quinton King said he's glad to have a group of kids that really thrive on playing as a unit. He said the younger relatives bring a refreshing winning attitude to the team that hasn't been at Forest Park in some time.

"The brothers and cousins on this team are very competitive and they try to do outdo each other. They also encourage each other," King said. "The good thing is that they're not only rooting for family n they want everyone on the team to do well."

King also said he's glad the family members are good, young players.

"I've got five of them coming back next year and that's a good thing," he said.