When Rick and Jackie Orner’s two kids started to get actively involved in sports, they’d sometimes pass each other on the road.
Rick would be taking their son, Tanner, to baseball games in one town while Jackie took their daughter, Jenna, to volleyball games in another.
“We’d just wave,” said Rick.
“It’s definitely a team effort,” said Jackie.
Jackie Orner has been coaching for 41 years. She is the Cumberland Valley girls volleyball head coach, and she also teaches health and physical education.
Orner loves coaching because sees sports as a vehicle for learning morals and values.
“I just think that sports can teach so many things that unfortunately in society aren’t being taught,” she said.
Rick grew up playing baseball and coached baseball for eight years when their son, Tanner, was playing in youth leagues. Rick doesn’t coach anymore but is still involved. Last week he helped run the Pennsylvania State Little League Tournament in Camp Hill.
When Rick and Jackie were raising their kids — they have two now — it was a challenge to balance their careers, their coaching and their family. But they made it work through good communication and lots of planning.
Rick has always helped to cook dinner, do laundry and clean up.
“She’ll send me a text and say, ‘You need to start dinner tonight, Here’s exactly where and what and when you do it,' which is fine,” Rick said. "I don't have a problem with that."
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Last week, Rick bought Jackie a iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner. He’s since found it to be a gift for him as much as for her.
Jackie said Rick is really good at helping her decompress when she gets home from work.
“Honestly, I have been blessed because he’s a really good sounding board. He’s been really good at [helping] me bounce off ideas,” Jackie said. “We troubleshoot for each other a lot.”
They are not the only ones actively involved in sports in their own household.
Tanner plays baseball at Grove City College, where he is pursuing a major in business marketing and a minor in sports management. And their daughter, Jenna, coaches volleyball at Division I Middle Tennessee State University. She also just finished her master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in sports leadership.
Sports continues to provide the family with special moments. Last week Tanner umpired a game at the Little League tournament on Rick’s birthday, who was there to watch. It made Rick proud to see his son umpiring a game at such a high level.
And Jenna helped Jackie run a camp for her volleyball players. Jackie said that it was cool to work alongside her daughter. Jackie was once Jenna’s coach, but now she is learning how to be a better coach from her daughter.
“Sports kind of runs in our family blood,” Jackie said. “It’s what we do.”
Yet despite their love of sports, Jackie said: “Being good parents for our children has always taken a front seat to everything.”
With their kids out of the house, Rick and Jackie have found themselves a bit stumped by the surplus of spare time they have stumbled upon. A couple of weeks ago they went to a baseball game that they didn’t have a stake in as coaches or parents.
They were just watching — they found that remarkable.