NORTH ADAMS -- There is something familiar for John Franzoni when he watches his point guard move the ball up the floor.
The head coach for the Drury girls' basketball team used to receive passes from a player with the same last name. Jack Racette was the point guard for the Blue Devils when he and Franzoni helped the boys' basketball team to a Western Massachusetts title in the 1981-82 season. Now, Franzoni stands on the sidelines and calls out plays as Jack's daughter Danielle pushes the ball up the court. She leads her team into the girls' Western Massachusetts Division II title game Saturday.
"They both obviously know the game very well," Franzoni said. "They both are kind of like coaches on the court when they are or were playing the point."
Jack coaches the boys' team now, but coaching is the furthest thing from his mind when he's watching Danielle and her teammates play.
He spent time coaching his oldest son when he was in high school and is now relishing the opportunity to be a spectator.
"When I go to watch my daughter play, I go and sit by myself and kind of take it all in," Jack said Friday morning. "I just enjoy watching her play. It's nice not having to worry about coaching."
Jack won't be the only coach watching his daughter play Saturday. His counterpart at Hoosac Valley, Bill Robinson will also be on hand. His daughter Mckenzie is the starting point guard for the Hurricanes.
Bill played against Franzoni and Jack Racette as a member of the Hurricanes in the 1980s. On Saturday, he'll take the game in as a fan and parent.
"I don't think we put much into [our history]," Bill said. "Jack and I have had our time. It's nice to see the kids do so well and really enjoying their time on the court."
Through the AAU programs in the summer, both coaches have had a chance to coach their daughters and their varsity teammates. It's that time that has allowed the coaches to become familiar with their daughter's teammates.
"Not only Kenzie, but I share a connection with all of them," Robinson said. "They are all Kenzie's friends, so I've watched this team for a while. It's nice to see them play like they're playing. The kids have put a lot into it."
Both the Drury and Hoosac boys are done for the season, so now the coaches are trying to enjoy watching their daughters make title run.
Although, Mckenzie didn't make that so easy for her father.
"It's always back and forth, who's going to make it to the Cage first," Mckenzie said. "We actually had a bet going on and the bet was who was going to make it this year. and he thought his team was going to have it.
"I knew we had a strong team coming up, we could do it. We had to believe in ourselves. Right after we got that win against Hampshire, I just turned to my Dad. He knew it. He was kind of ‘like OK, you won.' "
They might not be patrolling on the sidelines, but that doesn't mean they won't have an impact on the game.
"He definitely gives me talks," Mckenzie said. "Some talks, it's like ‘oh my God dad, stop.' Other times, it's ‘Yeah, I know what you're talking about. I need to listen to you. I need to take it in.' He gives great advice."
The younger Robinson often passes those conversations on to her teammates.
Bill and Jack are coaches, so critiquing and coaching is in their nature.
"He always gives me his input," Danielle said after Drury's practice on Friday. "He coached my AAU team and has just watched me play growing up. He knows how I can play. Sometimes he doesn't have to say anything, because I already know."
Both try to be parents, not coaches, when they watch their daughters play. They rarely critique directly after games and in some cases try not to talk basketball at all following a game.
"I don't say anything to her after a game," Bill said. "She's her own player and her own kid. She has her own coaches to listen to. I don't say anything to her, other than maybe ‘good game.' "
While Danielle and Mckenzie might not feel the pressure of playing for their father's alma mater, the support is there.
"We talked about it the other day," Danielle said. "He won the Western Mass. championship his junior and senior year. I know he'd like to see me do the same. Once I get on the court, I'm not thinking about that. I'm just thinking about what we have to do."