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High school slowpitch softball: 'Team Griffin' could take center stage in state tournament.

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Perkins-Tryon coach David Griffin, left, with his son Chance, McLoud's coach. [Photo provided]
Perkins-Tryon coach David Griffin, left, with his son Chance, McLoud's coach. [Photo provided]

It’s hard to miss the two dozen red shirts with white block letters spelling “Team Griffin” littering the stands.

Red — the primary color of McLoud High School — fits in the color scheme at Perkins-Tryon. Matching both is vital.

Monday morning of Field 4 at The Ball Fields at FireLake, the shirts are neutral for two opposing but related coaches.

“It’s something pretty special,” McLoud slowpitch softball coach Chance Griffin said.

As the high school slowpitch softball state tournaments open Monday morning following a six-day delay due to weather, one prominent family in the high school softball world will come together for better or worse.

Griffin and his father, David, are both head coaches in the Class 5A state tournament. Chance’s McLoud team could face David’s Perkins-Tryon team in the state semifinals.

“We’re in two phases of our career,” Chance said. “It would be a cool deal and mean a lot to us. Both of us would try to beat each other’s butts, of course. There’s no taking it easy in our family.”

It’s certainly not easy on Joy Griffin, the matriarch of the family.

David, her husband, has been coaching for more than three decades and is a member of the hall of fame. They had six children together — three boys and three girls — as they moved from Perry to Pryor to Crescent to McLoud to Hobart to Davis and back to McLoud.

Chance, who is 26, became a coach like his father.

And the thought of them playing each other is tough.

“It’s too much stress on her,” David said. “The good thing would be if we did play one of us would be in the finals.”

A few years ago, father and son coached together.

David had retired, but Chance was named head coach at Maysville. David returned to action as a volunteer assistant. It was a huge year of growth for Chance being around his father.

After completing his degree, Chance was named coach last year at McLoud, where his father won the school’s lone championship in any sport in 2002. He’s better prepared because of his dad, though David won their lone slowpitch matchup in run-rule fashion.

“He got me pretty good,” Chance said.

The same state tournament scenario was possible last season, but McLoud was eliminated in the opening game. That was when the family developed the shirts.

All five siblings wear them. So do their families. They pull for each Griffin, even when they stand in opposing dugouts.

“It’s great,” David said. “One thing you think, ‘Golly I don’t want to get beat by my son.’ But then you think, ‘Well, I’ve had a lot of success. It’s OK to give him some good things.’”

Related Photos
<strong>The Griffin family sports their "Team Griffin" shirts at last season's slowpitch softball state tournaments. [Photo provided]</strong>

The Griffin family sports their "Team Griffin" shirts at last season's slowpitch softball state tournaments. [Photo provided]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bb4b3012415faf13cff2835e592ea8a8.jpg" alt="Photo - The Griffin family sports their "Team Griffin" shirts at last season's slowpitch softball state tournaments. [Photo provided] " title=" The Griffin family sports their "Team Griffin" shirts at last season's slowpitch softball state tournaments. [Photo provided] "><figcaption> The Griffin family sports their "Team Griffin" shirts at last season's slowpitch softball state tournaments. [Photo provided] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-276f82a23ebab9c5dee63cce0c0eddcd.jpg" alt="Photo - Perkins-Tryon coach David Griffin, left, with his son Chance, McLoud's coach. [Photo provided] " title=" Perkins-Tryon coach David Griffin, left, with his son Chance, McLoud's coach. [Photo provided] "><figcaption> Perkins-Tryon coach David Griffin, left, with his son Chance, McLoud's coach. [Photo provided] </figcaption></figure>
Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

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