BROOMFIELD - The senior is getting help from the senior.
Zachary Dedin, an upcoming senior at Holy Family High School and one of the best baseball players in the state, is getting some help this season from one of the best baseball coaches in the collegiate and Colorado prep history — his grandpa.
Tom Dedin, the longtime coach at the University of Illinois and Regis High School, is retired but he hasn’t quite left the game completely.
In retirement Dedin still teaches private baseball lessons and is a volunteer pitching coach at Holy Family. Who is his prize pupil? His grandson, of course.
“It’s been a really fun opportunity to help his game grow. He is a really good young player with a lot of upside,” Tom said.
Zachary just completed a season where he helped lead Holy Family to an unbelievable 3A baseball state championship over juggernaut Eaton.
The younger Dedin hit .451 for the season with 31 RBI, which included multiple clutch hits through Holy Family’s state title run. He also pitches but didn’t last season because of an injury.
Zach credits his grandfather for not only his very productive swing but also for his love of the game.
“He has been one of my coaches for as long as I can remember and he has helped me every step of the way. He is just a character — I love him,” Zachary said. “He is just grandpa to me.”
But the older Dedin doesn’t take it easy on his grandson.
Tom has coached 70 players who have all went on to play professionally, with six of those players making it all the way to the major leagues.
He knows what it takes for his grandson to take his game to the next level.
“He is a really good young player and he has a Division I type of bat,” Tom said. “But baseball doesn’t last forever so I also try to teach him the importance of his academics.”
Zachary has big baseball dreams and one day envisions himself playing for the Colorado Rockies. But he also knows how hard he has to work to get to the “show.”
“Only a very few percentage of people play in the pros. But if I don’t play in the pros my grandpa and Holy Family has helped prepare me for life and how to be a well-rounded individual,” Zachary said.
The love they collectively share for the game fuels their bond that is so strong it could only be compared to a pitcher and a catcher. Like (grand) father like son.