Barnes resigns as Skyline baseball coach

Skyline head coach Jay Barnes grins after a call against William Monroe on April 13, 2015. Barnes has resigned as Skyline baseball coach after four years at the helm. Rich Cooley/Daily file

Jay Barnes had a tough decision to make at the end of the baseball season.

The four-year Skyline head baseball coach was having a hard time juggling his family time and his duties as coach. So on June 2 he resigned as the Skyline baseball coach.

Barnes’ second child Hank was born last month and he said he felt he needed to devote more time to his family.

“Part of it is my daughter is starting to get to an age where she’s starting to get involved in activities,” Barnes said. “And having to miss a couple things and juggle my schedule was something, selfishly, I didn’t want to have to do that. I wanted to be available for her.”

Barnes’ daughter Lee is just a few weeks shy of 4 years old. He said his wife Emily is also an adviser for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America at James Wood High School where she teaches. He said the spring is also her busiest time, just like it was with him for baseball, which made it tougher to juggle their schedules.

“We were coordinating pick ups and drop offs at grandparents and things like that,” Barnes said. “With two now we were at the point where it was OK for me to step away and say I was just going to be a family man. It’s difficult when you coach a sport. Sometimes I felt like I was short-changing one or the other and I didn’t want to feel that way.”

Barnes, a Strasburg graduate, has been a part of the baseball program for seven years. He was the junior varsity coach for three years.

Barnes said he will still be teaching at Skyline. He said he is still handling the team fundraiser and working with Skyline athletic director Bill Cupp on field renovations and things like that until the new coach is hired.

“I’m not walking away and just hanging it up,” Barnes said. “I’m still trying to make sure those guys are taken care of until a replacement can be found.”

Barnes said he will help out the athletic department some next year with running events and things of that nature.

Cupp said that Barnes will be missed.

“He did a great job,” Cupp said. “He took over and led the program for four years. And as a young coach he stepped in and did things the right way and held the kids accountable. He always tried to get the kids to play the game the way its supposed to be played. He tried to do things the way that as a school you want them to be done. And he’s going to be hard to replace.”

Cupp said that he would like to find a new coach as soon as he can, and he is hoping to get plenty of applicants.

The Hawks went 10-9 last season. Barnes said he feels like the program is in a good place for whoever takes over.

He said that he has lots of great memories from his time as coach, including a walk-off win over William Monroe this season and beating Sherando in 2015.

“It’s not always games, it’s practices or kids passing tests they didn’t think they were going to pass,” Barnes said of his best memories. “And players you coach being successful as adults — I think that’s the biggest part of it.”