By Anthony Mitchell
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- It can be a common theme in youth sports -- a parent joins the coaching staff of their child's team to help their child develop in a sport or spend more time with them.
But rarely does that move spawn a two-decades-long coaching partnership as what grew between Robert Vernon and John Deegan.
Vernon and Deegan took a seat in the dugout together as coaches in Danville youth baseball in 1994, and have stayed together since.
"John was taking over a Little League team (and) he was looking for someone to help him out," Vernon explained. "I had actually coached the previous two years in younger groups (and) I was looking to move up. He approached me and we got together."
Throughout hundreds of players and two age divisions, the two coaches have stayed side by side.
"We both believe in the same things. We like to teach and we both love baseball," Deegan said. "We enjoy when we see that we get that (feeling) across to the kids and they develop a love for the game also."
After making the leap from the Majors Division -- perhaps better known as the age group represented with a trip to Williamsport every August -- to the Little League Senior Division, Vernon and Deegan have stayed put for the past 14 years.
"I don't really want to coach at a higher level," Vernon said, adding that he enjoys the structure of Senior Division baseball.
Vernon added that an emphasis on teaching proper technique and skills in the field and at the plate at that level of baseball keeps him coming back to the Washies Complex year after year.
Sponsored by the Washington Fire and Hose Company, the team plays on land donated by the fire company in 1950.