MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The phrase like father like son may be a bit cliche but in the sports world, it’s as true as it’s even been.
So is the case on the soccer field at Trinity Christian School where Warriors head coach Dan Lohmann, a Morgantown High athletic hall of famer and national champion goalkeeper at Bethany College, trains his son Ben to be even better than him at turning away shots.
For both Lohmann’s there’s obviously more to this relationship than player and coach but for Ben, the ability to bond with his father over something they both love outweighs the few consequences that may come with it.
“It can be like 11:00 at night and I have a question and I can go and ask him. It’s bittersweet because I know he’s going to be on my rear no matter what about it and I know that after the games I have to drive home with him after and hear all about it but it also helps,” he said, “He’s a teacher 24/7 but he’s also my dad so he knows how to talk to me and how to read me better than anybody.”
Dan Lohmann just completed his second year as the head coach of the Trinity soccer program and as he’s watched his program grow, he’s also watched his son grow into one of the state’s best goalkeepers.
That’s an experience that brings quite a few emotions to the surface.
To be able to watch these games, especially this year, playing some really good matches against some really good teams, it’s been really rewarding. Just as a father, I try to step back as well and soak it in,” he said, “As a coach, you think a little bit differently but I’m just privileged. I’m honored. I’m blessed to be on the sideline and take it all in.”
Meanwhile, his son’s watched something else develop in the last two years as well: a side of his father he hadn’t seen before.
“He’s thinking the way he did back in high school. It’s been a way for him to get back into the game,” he said, “He’s really invested more. He’s watching games more on TV, professional, stuff like that. It’s kind of transformed him back into like a high schooler so it’s kind of just like living with a teammate.”
That’s not lost on the elder Lohmann either who takes an extra bit of joy in showing his son a glimpse of a version of himself that even he though was long gone.
“I’m a child at heart and I just love it. I love to be able to put the shoes on and kick the ball around so I’m just like them. I enjoy it but yes, he’s probably right. He hasn’t seen me necessarily play a sport, so this is probably the closest thing, being out here knocking the ball around, being able to jump in the net with these kids. It’s so fun. It’s a blast,” Dan said.
With a loss in the regional playoffs to Fairmont Senior, year two for Dan and Ben Lohmann has officially come to an end and the junior goalkeeper will have one more go-around with his father at the helm next season.