Froemel makes history in father’s tenure

Published 10:43 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

King’s Fork High School softball player Madison Froemel became the first softball player from King’s Fork to make an all-state team this year. Her father is grateful to see her hard work pay off.

Coach Richard Froemel and his daughter Madison are one of the few coach-daughter relationships in Suffolk. He has been the King’s Fork varsity softball coach since 2007. His daughter is currently preparing for her fourth and final year of softball under her father.

Coach and child relationships can be perceived in many ways. There are challenges that come with it, such as accusations of favoritism or being too critical. It is a fine line, either way you put it, but the Froemels have to be themselves, which is just a coach and a player at the end of the day.


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“He’s a great motivator, not only to me, but to the rest of my team,” the Lady Bulldog said. “If anyone saw us practice, they wouldn’t know that I’m his daughter. He treats every player the same.”

During the three years she has played at King’s Fork, Froemel said, it hasn’t been easy. Her father has high expectations for her. During her freshman year, she admits, she felt pressure to live up to expectations. However, since then, she doesn’t feel pressure. She just strives to be better each day.

“I think having those coach-kid relationships can show the athletes ability to prevail,” Madison said. “I can’t thank my dad enough for being my coach.”

Madison values the bond created between her and her dad by his being the coach. Madison actually made history this spring, becoming the first King’s Fork softball player to make an all-state softball team.

King’s Fork had players recognized this season and in the past in the conference and region, but for Madison to get recognized on the state level is big for King’s Fork. It is an even greater deal to her father.

“I’m very proud,” coach Froemel said. “She stepped her game up this year and finished the season strong. Of course, that coach’s daughter stigma is in the back of your mind, but this is all her. She produced on those situations.”

“It’s honestly an honor,” Madison said. “There have been some talented girls before me and it just feels amazing.”

King’s Fork had a strong season this year. The team was eliminated in the semifinals of the 4A East regional tournament. Had the Lady Bulldogs not lost to Powhatan High School 2-1, they could have possibly played for a state championship. It is possible for the Lady Bulldogs to reach that level next season.