Rock Bridge (24-5) vs. Rockhurst (23-5-1)
When: 5 p.m.
Where: Anheuser-Busch Center (Field No. 1) in Fenton
Winner advances to the title game against the winner of a 7 p.m. semifinal between St. Louis University High and Vianney.
COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge soccer coach Kyle Austin has a lot to be thankful for this holiday.
Not only is his team set to play Friday in the state semifinals, but, as of Wednesday morning, he is a father.
His first child, Addison Renee Austin, was born at 11:37 a.m., weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.
“It was very fitting; she was even born during a soccer game,” Austin said.
The Brazil vs. Argentina game was on the TV at the hospital during her birth. And for the USA game right after, Austin was able to watch it with his baby daughter in his arms.
After beating Carthage on Saturday in the Class 3 state quarterfinals, Austin has been preparing his team to face Rockhurst on Friday. But soccer obviously wasn't the only thing on his mind. After going back and forth from the hospital to soccer practice all week, he said the timing of his daughter's birth couldn’t have worked out better for him and his wife, Kacy Austin.
“I was very nervous at our game on Saturday, but it ended up working out perfectly,” Austin said.
The Bruins players will now have to learn to share their coach's time. But according to Austin, that shouldn't be a problem.
“The team has been so supportive through it all. I don’t think I would’ve been able to get through it all without them,” he said. “They’ve all been congratulating me, I think almost all of them sent me texts yesterday telling me congratulations. They’ve just been unbelievably supportive."
From getting flowers from one of his players and his family to having a baby shower at a team dinner, the Bruins soccer team has been a big part of the Austin family's celebration.
“We all bought him diapers and sang 'Happy Pregnancy to You,' to the tune of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, to his wife,” Bruins senior captain Ryan Taylor said.
Although his team has been nothing but supportive, it’s going to be difficult to find an equal balance.
“My priorities will obviously shift. My kid will always come first, but I’ll still put in as much time and effort into coaching and teaching as I did before, I just won’t have as much time for myself, which I’m of course fine with,” Austin said.
Austin’s down time has now become dad time, but he can now add the father title to his list of coach, teacher and husband.
“So far, she’s been so quiet, the most well-behaved child ever. Perfect in my eyes,” he said. “But it hasn’t quite hit me yet. We’ve had so many friends and family with us at the hospital, I don’t think it’ll hit me until it’s just the three of us at home.”
Austin said he couldn’t ask for more. The newest addition to the "Boomtown" family has 22 older brothers to back her up.