Amy Keel is her father's daughter through and through.
She and only she could have pulled off the stunning feat that occurred at the recently held Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (WFSCA) Hall of Fame banquet in Wisconsin Dells.
She, in a manner of speaking, left her father, the normally verbose, gregarious and newly inducted member of the WFSCA Hall of Fame Dave Keel a bit, as it is said in the Yiddish, "verklempt."
Or more commonly, a bit choked up.
Amy, a 2015 graduate of her father's fine alma mater, UW-La Crosse, with a degree in political science and public administration, was recently named the new head coach of the Shorewood girls softball team and is looking forward to the chance of playing her dad's Homestead teams and in her own words, "beating them every time we do (big laughs)."
Amy Keel, 22, was always around her dad, serving as ball girl for Keel's equally successful Homestead football teams in the early 2000s. She later became a catcher for several seasons for Dave's talented softball teams until her graduation from Homestead in 2011. She was behind the dish for the 2010 WIAA state finalists but hung up the cleats, mask and glove to take a shot at the real world after high school graduation.
She had been a junior varsity assistant for one season recently but never gave coaching on a regular basis a serious thought until she recently learned through a friend that the Shorewood coaching job, long held by Dave Berghaus, was open.
She kept the idea under wraps from her dad until the interview process.
A litigation assistant for the law firm of Crivello Carlson with the idea of going to law school in the near future still being thought over, Amy argued a successful case before Shorewood Athletic Director LeVar Ridgeway and his selection committee.
Dad was not surprised in the least.
"LeVar got in touch and encouraged her (to interview) and it worked out well," he said.
She was hired earlier this year and has had two weeks of energetic practice, saying much in the manner of her father, that she has "a great group of girls who we're helping reach their full potential. They really want to be better."
If one knew her dad well and were observing the Greyhounds' practices, one would say they looked very similar to those of Homestead.
"I did borrow a lot of his practice structure," she said.
Her first game with the Greyhounds will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at Cudahy.
"This is just an unexpected opportunity," she said. "I had really missed the game so much. I want to share that passion for it with everyone. I feel I'm ready because I learned from the best coach out there."
She did say though she will be a bit different from her dad in terms of temperament.
"I don't think I'll be quite as passionate (meaning loud) as he gets," she said with a laugh.
Which brings us back to that Hall of Fame ceremony. Dave was being honored for his 34 successful years of coaching the Homestead girls. During that time, he has amassed an overall coaching record of 528-186.
He is only the third Wisconsin high school head softball coach to reach 500 career victories. He teams have won 13 conference titles and 13 WIAA sectional championships. The Highlanders have been state runners-up under his watch in 1983, 1988, and 2010.
Dave was joined on the podium by Jim Wickert of McFarland and Madison College and Roger Schliewe of Horicon.
It was Dave's long-time softball assistant Marlaina Feller who reached out to Amy and suggested that she be her father's presenter.
Amy agreed and said her five-minute speech focused on the lessons that he taught her on and off the softball field.
"The key point I emphasized was that of 'Working hard and being a good person is so much more important than throwing out someone at second base,'" Amy said.
And what happened next, Amy said, was something she will never forget.
"He stood up (and went to the podium) and said 'You all know me pretty well, I don't get speechless very often, but I am now,'" she said.
She didn't say it, but at that moment she probably had a grin on her face so wide that it could have circled the globe.
Later, Dave found his voice.
"It was a special night," he said. "It's not often a daughter gets to present her father in a situation like that. Just very special. Quite an honor."
Now, about those potential future Homestead-Shorewood games?