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Barchus Family Matters

GreyWolves head coach Justin Barchus and infielder Jordan Barchus strike a balance in their coach-player, brother-brother relationship

THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - GreyWolves coach Justin Barchus has Gresham in contention for a WCL playoff spot heading into the final weeks of the summer season.Just a few weeks into the Gresham GreyWolves’ season, head coach Justin Barchus knew the team needed to make something happen on the base paths late in a game. He inserted a pinch runner and the club was rewarded with a run.

Barchus had complete trust in that runner, despite the fact that the team had been assembled for less than a month. One of the major challenges for collegiate summer coaches is that there is so much turnover from season to season, but Barchus had the advantage of coaching this particular player last season.

Oh yeah, and it just so happens that Barchus has known him since the day that player was born.

That player is Jordan Barchus, younger brother of Justin.

Jordan – a current product of Lower Columbia College – is playing in his second collegiate summer season. He was a member of the Klamath Falls Gems last year where Justin also coached. The family dynamic doesn’t end there as their father, Scott, is a GreyWolves assistant coach.

Many players would have mixed feelings about playing for a sibling, but Jordan downplays the whole arrangement to some degree.

“To me, it doesn’t really feel like a different or unusual circumstance,” Jordan said. “Off the field, he is my brother, but on the field, he is a coach. That is how I see him when we are on the field. The way I interact with him here is the same way I interact with my college colleges. I don’t view it any differently.”

THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Greshams Jordan Barchus leads off from third base during an early-season game.

The older brother-younger brother dynamic is a non-issue for the team. When some fans learn about it, though, they can’t help but wonder if Jordan gets any special treatment as the coach’s direct relative.

If anything, the opposite is true.

“A lot of the time he gets the unfair end of the deal where I’m harder on him than another coach might be,” Justin said.

Jordan acknowledged that there might be some of that at times, but it isn’t something that fazes him too much.

“Him and my dad have always been there pushing me a little harder. It’s nothing new and I am used to it,” Jordan said. “I try to use that to improve and get better, because I know that is what they want for me.”

Justin has been impressed with the way his younger brother has embraced the challenge of summer ball, both on the field and off. He feels that will serve Jordan well the rest of the season and in his life thereafter.

“It’s fun to see him compete every day. With the age difference between us, I don’t get to see his college games very often. It has been a treat for me to watch him grow as a player and as a person,” Justin said. “I have really enjoyed seeing how he has matured mentally. He has grown in the way he handles himself in reaction to both the good and bad things that happen on the field. The summer is a grind. This is the first opportunity some of these kids have to be adults, to go play six-game road trips, that kind of thing. It has been good to see how Jordan has handled that and to be there to help him along the way.”

Twitter: @Parker_Lee_