Brian Jennings heard rumors he was being considered for the coaching staff for the North baseball all-stars.
Picking the brains of anyone else he'd be an assistant with was a chance he couldn't pass up.
That's when all-star director Bill Jones dropped the bomb: Jennings wasn't an assistant; the Griffith skipper was picked as the head coach.
"I was a little taken aback," Jennings said. "This is a big deal. I'm really humbled by it."
Jennings is in his 17th year of coaching, the last 14 with the Panthers. He was previously the head coach at Whiting.
He has sent five players to the North-South All-Star game, but this is his first chance to do more than watch from the sidelines.
The final list of players picked to the teams hasn't been released yet, but Jennings has been told there's a region contingent between seven and nine on his team.
Making sure each athlete from the North earns valuable playing time is among his top priorities, Jennings said.
"The nice thing about this, there's a format they have to play every kid certain amount of innings," Jennings said. "I'm going to give each position to an assistant and make sure that each kid gets his time."
The North-South games are played July 14-15 in Jasper, with a banquet and tour of the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame on July 13.
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