Freeport-Franklin state playoff game holds unique draw for husband, wife
By: Michael Love
Sunday, June 2, 2019 | 5:28 PM
When Tom and Ericca Haynes attend Monday’s PIAA Class 3A first-round baseball game between Franklin and Freeport, they will have familiarity to both sides of the proceedings.
As the parents of Franklin’s top pitcher and leading hitter Ian Haynes, they have followed the Knights the past several seasons, including this year’s run to the District 10 championship.
Both Thomas and Ericca also hold a special place in their heart for Freeport as both are graduates of the school, Thomas in 1983 and Ericca in 1986.
“I am excited for both programs,” said Tom Haynes, the coach of the Franklin football team.
He started athletics coaching as a volunteer assistant while still a student at Freeport when knee issues prevented him from playing the sports he loved.
While not a member of a sports team in high school, Ericca was part of the color guard for the Freeport marching band.
“It was blue and gold in our hearts for a long time, and now it is red and black,” Tom Haynes said. “Ian’s had a pretty good run. He hasn’t lost a game in two years. It will be interesting to see how it goes Monday.”
Ian Haynes is 14-0 over the past two seasons and 9-0 this year.
“We figured that we could play somebody like Freeport because they were the No. 1 seed (for the WPIAL playoffs),” Ian Haynes said.
Ian said he’s happy for his parents to have this connection to their high school alma mater.
“It’s probably more of a bigger thing for them as they graduated from Freeport and they know so many people from there,” he said. “I don’t really know too many of them, but it’s still a pretty exciting opportunity to go up against a really good team.”
Freeport is expected send staff ace Jarrett Heilman to the mound. Tom Haynes and Jarrett’s father, Dave, were friends during their time together at Freeport before Dave finished at a private high school in eastern Pennsylvania.
Dave Heilman said he’s excited to catch up with Tom and the rest of the Haynes family at Slippery Rock.
“We played a little bit of baseball together, and it’s cool to see that our sons most likely will face each other in the first round of the state tournament,” the elder Heilman said.
“A mutual friend of ours on Facebook, after I put on there that Freeport would be facing Franklin, also brought up the (Freeport) connection with the two teams. It should be fun. I am looking forward to wishing them the best but hoping that their run total is at least one less than ours.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .