RUSTON, La (KMSS/KTAL) – “My dad would say if you want to hang with the big dogs, you’ve got to be a big dog,” said Steele Netterville.
“Slade would come in huffing and puffing, and Steele would come in behind him saying, ‘If you can’t handle it, get out of the cage,” said Teri Netterville.
“He taught me how to be tough and pushed me to be better everyday,” said Slade Netterville. “I owe a lot to him.”
From the backyard cage…
“Out of Slade’s bedroom window, you can see the batting cage,” said Teri Netterville, Steele and Slade’s mother. “My favorite memories were going to that window and watching the big brother help the little brother.”
To the Louisiana Tech kennel.
“I had no idea that could have happened, but when it did I was super excited I was going to have the chance to be in the same dugout as my brother,” said Slade.
Brothers, turned teammates. Over the last five years a Netterville could be found on the Louisiana Tech baseball roster.
“Netterville is still here?” said Louisiana Tech Head Coach Lane Burroughs in regards to Steele Netterville, who has been on the team since 2017. “That’s kind of what we get whenever we go play.”
But this year, you could find two Nettervilles on the roster.
“That is the one silver lining to COVID,” said Teri Netterville. “If that had not happened and Steele did not have this extra year, they would not have played on the same team ever.”
“It’s fun to watch them interact like brothers and really go at each other, and then two minutes later they’re hugging and telling each other how much they love each other,” joked Coach Burroughs.
While also not forgetting to tell each other who’s the better athlete.
“I remember me being a lot better than him and my dad always saying I was better than him,” said Slade. “I mean I’ve heard it my whole life. I mean that’s about it. Just me being better than Steele.”
“I love Steele, but Slade is probably the better athlete,” said Greg Williams, who coached both Steele and Slade at C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport.
“I’d let him say that but I know deep down the truth,” said Steele. “So we’ll let him have that or whatever but it’s super nice for him to say for Slade.”
So, we may not have a definite answer on who the best athlete is, but there is one thing we do know.
“He’s proud to be Steele’s brother and Steele’s proud to be Slade’s brother,” said Coach Williams.
“I’d watch Steele and he would stay back and watch Slade and see how he was doing and I’m like, ‘Leave him alone. You’re not his dad. Get out of here and let him do his thing,” joked Coach Burroughs.
‘It’s been super special to kind of show him the ropes and be there for him when he has any questions and experience his first year with him,” said Steele.
And for Slade, experience his older brother making history.
“One of the things that really got me was when Steele broke the doubles record,” said Coach Burroughs. “We come in off the field, and the first guy to meet him was Slade running up. I’m getting chills from it. He comes flying up to him gave him a big hug. That’s what it’s all about.”
However, the duo on the field wouldn’t be there without the duo behind the scenes.
“My dad has done everything under the sun to help us be successful in baseball whether it’s buying the gear or working with us in the cages or putting us in positions to be successful,” said Steele. “My mom has been there every step of the way. She doesn’t miss a game. Not only that she’s involved with the team, she’s doing things for the team. She packs snack bags for the travel road. She just wants to be a part of it.”
“It’s been the ride of my life,” said Mrs. Netterville. “It’s been fun.”