The April 4 baseball game between Page and Summit is more than a meeting between two Williamson County schools. It’s a game for bragging rights between brothers as Patrick Hood’s Patriot squad travels to face Levi Hood’s Spartans.
While the game is sure to bring back memories of playing catch in the backyard as youngsters, both wish the other luck while focusing their energy on what’s important.
“It’ll be weird, but I have to keep my head on straight and focus on the game instead of focusing on playing my brother,” said Patrick, a senior at Page.
Levi, a freshman, echoed the thought.
“I want him to do good, but I also want (Summit) to win,” he said.
Adding to the intrigue, Thursday is Patrick’s turn in the pitching rotation.
Both being soft spoken and leaning towards a shy demeanor, don’t expect any trash talk – although big brother is thinking about his reaction if Levi has success at the plate against him.
“If he gets a hit off me – congratulations,” he said. “There’s not going to be any bad blood. It’s just a game for us. There will be a little bragging rights, but nothing that will cause any problems.”
Patrick didn’t think he’d have the opportunity to throw against his little brother at the beginning of the season. Levi was thrust into the Spartans’ starting lineup only three weeks ago after Summit’s opening-day catcher broke his thumb.
The freshman has thrived in the role though – both on the offensive and defensive side of home plate.
“Props to him,” Patrick said. “He’s doing good with his opportunity. He’s hitting the ball, blocking the ball well, and catching good. I’m proud of him – even though he does play for a district opponent.”
The Hood family had years of history at Page prior to Summit opening in 2011. Being an upperclassman, Patrick did not have to relocate. Having an older sibling at another school left the door open for Levi to become a Patriot for a year, but he decided to begin Summit as a freshman after playing summer league ball with the team.
Being around his brother’s teammates for years, the family feels Levi will be more excited to play everyone on the Patriots’ roster more so than the one who shares his last name.
“I just know them all,” he said. “I played with them a lot. I’ll be right at home I guess.”
Two other members of the Hood family, parents Tim and Dana, might have the most difficult task Thursday – beginning with the question of where to sit. Their sons have never played against each other, making this the first time they have literally had to decide which side of the park to sit on.
“We don’t know what we’re going to do,” said Tim. “We’re probably just going to sit right in the middle and catch hell from both sides.”
With two sons playing varsity baseball, Dana and Tim had to find a system to decide who goes to which game. They settled on alternating road and home games.
While Patrick anticipates a moment with the entire family at some point during the night, he hopes it occurs post game, as he wants to focus on the task of throwing against a District 12-AA foe.
“After the game we can have our picture and stuff,” he said. “Before that, since I’m starting, I want to get focused and ready to pitch. Not only do I have to pitch against him, I have to pitch against the other eight guys.”
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Spring Hill with the second game of the series taking place April 8 in Rudderville.