Baseball means Family for the Drelicks


Cindy Manero

Joe (right) and Jake (left), father and son, pose for a picture at a North Penn baseball game.

TOWAMENCIN- From teaching how to drive, showing how to shave, and fixing up multiple dress shirts and ties, a father is one always there to teach a son how to act, talk, and go about the many stepping stones in life. However, for a ballplayer, nothing can top the virtue he has for his father bringing the game of baseball into his life. For North Penn’s senior Jake Drelick, the love for the game he has played since the age of 5 years old, all began with a catch in the yard where just a glove, ball, open yard, and a blue sky symbolized a bond that his father Joe Drelick, would create.

“The first thing I noticed from Jake was that he wanted to be a good baseball player. I think that at the beginning, that’s your desire and that’s what started him on the right path. He started working and doing the extra things to make himself better, but it was that one [moment] as a young child- that, ‘I want to be good at this game.’ That’s what I saw out of Jake at the very beginning,” said Joe.

Joe Drelick taught not only the love, but also respect for the game of baseball, and all the way up to his senior year of high school, Jake still lives by the virtues of a great teammate, hard worker, and a player who is all in, which his father worked to instill in him from Jake’s T-ball days.

Prasham Jobanputra
The Drelick family along with Head Coach Kevin Manero and Jake’s teacher of choice, Robert Shettsline, pose for a picture at Jake’s senior ceremony.

“On the ballfield I would always try and play loose, have fun, and I wouldn’t feel any pressure because my dad never put that on me. Off the field too, I always made sure I did the extra things and do my best to be the guy with the 4 for 4 day, not necessarily the 0 for 4 day, so I always worked hard to do the right things and built off of those messages from my dad I learned when I was a little kid,” said Jake.

The Drelick duo is one that has made a mark on the rich history of North Penn baseball. Three years of receiving pitches behind home plate from Jake and fungo work in addition to coaching in the program from Joe, have created a lasting impact on not only the teams who played alongside the Drelicks, but the program and its future as a whole.

“In tenth grade I started on junior varsity and played varsity in eleventh and twelfth, and everything starting back in the fall before every season I loved. I loved the way the program was run, we didn’t take no for an answer, worked hard, and went about our play with a nice and strict mentality. When we got into the season and my dad was in the dugout, it was someone I could talk to who was always there in the backyard, in the cage, and someone who understood the game. I wouldn’t have wanted to have him anywhere else around the field,” said Jake.

“When I started in the North Penn program, I was just a dad who played baseball and knew a lot about the game, but when I got with these other coaches, Coach Manero, Harris, Yanni, and Clauss, these guys knew the game at a whole different level. So when I was learning from them, I would take those things home and teach them to Jake. That’s where I learned to be a good coach and worked to instill those things in Jake as much as could to make him a better ballplayer,” stated Joe.

Jake will be furthering his athletic career as well as his education next year at Thomas Jefferson University where he will play for Coach Horvath and major in marketing. As for his dad, Joe will take a different perspective on baseball while his son is on the ballfield at the collegiate level, and that is in the stands as a father watching his son play.

“Getting into next year, at the collegiate level, I just want to make him proud. We always talked about being able to play college ball since I was a little kid. So now that I’m finally able to do that I feel blessed whenever I take the field, seeing him up there and hold a kind of connection with him. Even though we aren’t sitting next to each other, we make a connection, know what I did right and wrong on certain plays and at-bats, but I think it will be a little different seeing him up there at first, but something that will be cool and we’ll be good with,” stated Jake.

Prasham Jobanputra
Jake celebrates an RBI double

“It will be interesting to see Jake go and play in college and be off the field myself. Coaching a lot on this side is really intense, but to get to just sit back and maybe just enjoy him play the game and watch him have fun playing at another level is something I think will be really neat. I’m looking forward to that and getting to sit back on the other side of the lines, as a parent, and watch him play ball,” reflected Joe.

While they may still have one more summer of an American Legion baseball season to look forward to, Joe himself has stepped back to cherish every moment Jake and himself would get to drive up and back from the field together, discuss bang-bang calls in between innings, and even bust each others chops a little bit all with the purpose of rising up to the ability they both know they can play and coach at.

“The best thing about it in high school was just getting to be close to him. I always say at the end of the day that Jake is my best friend. We hung out together, we went to games together, we took bus rides to games together, took Myrtle Beach trips together, and I got to experience that with him, and I do really say that he is my best friend. We’ll talk about baseball, football, or anything and I think that’s really cool. It will be interesting to be on the other side of the lines next year and watch him play, but I’m looking forward to it a lot,” stated Joe.

Coaching is always a challenging task as it requires countless hours of scheduling along with dedication to making your team better and perfecting your own coaching craft.  For Joe, as an assistant coach for North Penn and a head coach for Hatfield-Towamencin Post 933 Legion, he has not only gotten to coach young men from local schools, townships and neighborhoods, but his own son who took after everything his father set out to instill in him. With this experience and time in the dugout coaching his son, Joe built up an idea that he feels every parent, whether on the coaching staff of their child’s team, or in the stands at one of their games, should hold and understand.

“A message to any parent, kind of like the things I mentioned before, is never to forget at the end of the day it’s just a game. If your son or daughter is out there playing a sport and they are having fun, let them enjoy it whether they are good at it, or bad at it just let them enjoy it, make friends and let them play. It’s funny though, especially how baseball works that if you’re having fun and enjoying it, you’ll excel at the game and that’s how it is and should be played,” stated Joe.

Jake will trade out his ball cap for a graduation cap in the second week of June, but the memories he built are forever, along with the legacy he established on and off the North Penn baseball field. And he had his, “best friend” next to him for the entire journey.

“Our bond is like no other, the father-son connection we have, it’s like two peas in a pod. Everywhere we go we are talking about baseball, understanding each other and the game. I think it’s a really good story for anyone who needs that connection, or mindset that your best friends are your parents. [Parents] come to support you no matter what, will be there for you no matter what, and that’s exactly what my dad was for the past 10 years with me on the baseball field,” concluded Jake.