Back in the Game: Zangers find solace in softball - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Back in the Game: Zangers find solace in softball

Jeff Zanger is back to coaching softball at Payson only months after losing the youngest of his four children. Jeff Zanger is back to coaching softball at Payson only months after losing the youngest of his four children.

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Through the tribulation of losing a child the process of finding normalcy hasn't been easy for Jeff Zanger and his family.

However, Zanger's return to coaching was a start down that path.

"It was a really tough decision because obviously with everything that happened with Easton our life was in complete chaos," Zanger explained.

"It got back to the school year starting in January and the softball team didn't have a coach. I went into the first open gym to work with the kids, and I remembered immediately this is why I used to coach. "

Jeff's wife, Shannon, wanted to see him do what he loved again and helped him along the way.

"I thought it was important for him to have at least a small distraction for a while," Shannon said.

"Softball has always been a part of our life and something that we love. I think he was sad to leave it and happy to be back on the field now.

For the Zanger's the game of softball was their foundation, and in the midst of everything else, is a connection that can't be taken away.

"I coached (Shannon) during her junior and senior year of high school, and was a close friend of the family, and we started dating after her senior year," Jeff noted. 

"It's been a great connection for us. In the past when I would come home from a game and was either upset or enjoying a great moment, I could have that conversation with her."
Shannon added, "It's a nice thing to be able to discuss something than obviously the hardships we've been going through the past few months. We did before and we do so now, and it proves to be a nice topic of conversation for us."

Even though struggles on the field can't compare to those we face in life, they can help shed some light along the way.

"We appreciate the little things with the kids, and appreciate the chance to bond with Logan and coaching Morgan and Addison, and really appreciating it," Jeff expressed.

But mostly they try to not get caught up in wins and losses.
"The general idea after each and every game is 'This is just a game.' Sometimes life doesn't go exactly the way you want it to, and doesn't turn out the way you think it should," Shannon said.

"But I think he's doing a great job delivering them that message."
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