July 1, 2016

Coach and his ‘sons’ lead Providence to championship

Members of the baseball team of Our Lady of Providence Jr./Sr. High School in Clarksville are all smiles as they pose for a photo after winning the Class 2A Indiana State High School Athletic Association championship on June 18 at Victory Field in Indianapolis. (Submitted photo)

Members of the baseball team of Our Lady of Providence Jr./Sr. High School in Clarksville are all smiles as they pose for a photo after winning the Class 2A Indiana State High School Athletic Association championship on June 18 at Victory Field in Indianapolis. (Submitted photo)

By John Shaughnessy

Scott Hornung knows the tremendous feeling that comes from watching your children succeed.

It’s a feeling he has experienced while cheering for his daughters Jacquie and Marissa as they helped the volleyball team at Our Lady of Providence Jr./Sr. High School in Clarksville win state championships the past three seasons.

“As a parent, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” says Hornung, who also has a younger daughter, Ali. “To see your children succeed is far more satisfying than having success yourself.”

Hornung had that same feeling on June 18 in his role as the head coach of the Providence baseball team—a team that won the Class 2A Indiana High School Athletic Association championship with a dramatic 7-6 win against the team from Lafayette Central Catholic.

“I can honestly say I felt the same way as I did with my daughters. I don’t have any sons, but I honestly consider these boys to be my sons,” says Hornung, his voice tinged with emotion. “After the game, I took the time to thank them. I wasn’t only thankful for them as baseball players, but as people. That’s what makes this season so special—who they are as people.”

That sense of family has long been a point of pride and purpose not just for the baseball program, but for the entire Providence community in southern Indiana. And the baseball championship adds another reason to celebrate—and another distinction—as it marks the first time in the school’s 64-year history that a boys’ team has won a state championship.

“When the winning run crossed the plate, there was definitely a lot of joy and pride,” says Hornung, who has dedicated 30 years of his life to coaching at Providence, including the past 22 years as the head baseball coach. “To see the joy on the faces of the players, the coaches and the crowd—it just really means a lot to represent our school. All the hard work that’s been put into this through the years came to fruition.”

While this year’s team was blessed with talent, it also was marked by a foundation that Hornung has stressed through the years: faith.

The team prayed before and after every practice and game. During pre-season conditioning in Lent, the team did a workout around the Stations of the Cross every Friday, reading about each station, praying about each one and then doing an exercise. And every week of the season, the team focused on a particular virtue—such as valor, love and dependability—and tried to find ways to implement those virtues into their lives.

For Hornung, those foundations of faith and family are what he and his wife Kelly—both Providence grads—have tried to stress to their daughters. It’s what Hornung has also tried to stress to his “sons.”

“I had seven seniors this year,” he says. “It was a great combination of personalities. Each brought something different to the team. We had our comedians, our cheerleaders, some serious ones. But the things they had in common were their selflessness and their genuineness. And they all pulled for each other. And that includes the underclassmen, too.”

It’s a bond that connects teammates in ways that extend beyond a state championship.

“We’re a fortunate group because we won a state championship, and we’ll remember that day forever,” Hornung says. “But as they grow older and become young men into adulthood, we’ll also remember the brotherhood, the time together, the laughter and the friendship. That’s what everybody truly remembers.” †

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