LEXEY SWALL — I followed the Naples Rockets for several weeks this summer, culminating in their state championship softball game in Tallahassee in late July. Throughout the story, I grew attached to the 9-and 10-year-old girls and their families. They are all wonderful, and I still keep in touch with some of them now. Mike Manning, shown here with his daughter, Taylor, assisted in coaching the girls through practices. He gave the team batting advice and said funny things that made the girls laugh. Other times he sounded like a drill seargent, commanding respect with the tone of his voice and the intensity in his eyes. If I were 10, I would have been completely scared of him. But, I understood his tactics and the girls respected him. This photo is my favorite. Taylor was pitching in the final game, and she was having a tough time. Whether it was the pressure of the game, or the heavy rain that started coming down, or just bad luck, Taylor couldn't continue. Manning was visibly shaken because his daughter was visibly shaken. After the game, Manning went from being a coach (and drill seargeant) to a father there to provide love and support for a daughter. No more, no less. She needed her Dad, and he was there.