DALLAS CENTER – A central Iowa softball coach passed away earlier this month, but his partner is staying strong – not only for her family, but for a group of girls who love to play the game.
Strength and commitment are some words that come to mind about a central Iowa woman who’s been through a lot this year. Her partner was diagnosed with melanoma in January – and sadly passed away last weekend. But now she’s doing her best to be there for those who need her most.
Saturday was a beautiful day to play softball. But for Amanda Gladson, it’s so much more than a game.
“Softball has kind of always been our thing together – so it’s been easy for me to step in,” Gladson said, speaking about her late partner Chad Parson.
Parson passed away earlier this month after losing his battle with cancer. He coached softball for the Central Iowa Elite – and now Gladson is stepping up to the plate.
“To be able to fill in is a pleasure for me, and my honor to be able to fill in for Chad, and to help with the team, and to keep things going and be consistent for them,” Gladson said.
And between staying strong for her children, her baby who’s due in a couple weeks and these girls – this softball family is beyond proud.
“I know she feels sad and stuff, but she’s always there still,” said Piper Kain, Gladson’s daughter and one of the players on the team. “She’s not showing her emotions and stuff. She’s just strong.”
“It’s something that Chad wanted,” said Chineda Sam, another coach for the team. “You know, he didn’t want anybody else to take on the team.”
“We’re extremely grateful and thankful,” said Annie Sharp, a parent of one of the players. “There might not have been a coach is she hadn’t of stepped in.”
“I’m kind of feeling really sad, but also excited to still play games and that Amanda is still there,” said softball player Caydance Sharp.
And just like she’s there for this team, Gladson says they’re supporting her too.
“Our softball family has been inspiring,” Gladson said. “The girls are amazing.”
Gladson has one son with Chad and she’ll have ten children total when her baby is born.
There will be a benefit and auction next month to celebrate Chad’s life and raise money for his children. It will be on Sunday, June 19th from 1-5 p.m. at the Red Rock Grill & Still in Knoxville, Iowa.