Erath girls basketball coach Andrea Bernard can poke fun of herself, noting she had the routine down almost to a science.
When it comes to welcoming new children into the world during a basketball season, Andrea and her husband Scott have displayed a deft touch when balancing child birth, along with maintaining a successful basketball season.
“We’ve joked this is obviously the only time we like to have children,” Bernard said. “We like the chaos of it.”
Bernard’s first son, now 5-year-old John-Paul, arrived Nov. 27 after a successful adoption process.
The Bernards welcomed the birth of son Jax four years ago during the heart of district play.
Not to be outdone, daughter Emmie, was born Dec. 16, the day of Erath’s home game with New Iberia.
The result? A successful delivery at 12:35 p.m. and a signature victory that evening with the Bobcats defeating Class 5A New Iberia 44-38.
“The girls told me they were going to play for Emmie,” Bernard said. “I have a great group of girls. It was a great way to end one of the best days of our lives.”
Erath’s in the midst of its best season in eight years under Bernard, herself a former player and 2001 graduate of the school.
The Bobcats (17-4) won six of its first eight games before really making waves with their first Vermilion Parish Tournament championship in mid-December.
Less than a week later Bernard and her staff of Tim Lege and Dana Frederick began putting in the game plan for New Iberia.
Bernard missed practice the next day to attend a doctor’s appointment and delivered Emmie on game day.
“She’s already the ruler and decided she wanted to come that day,” Bernard said. “That was the day we said Emmie couldn’t come. … Any day after.”
That’s because Bernard knew Lege would be away coaching the school’s middle school team, leaving Frederick to run the team in her absence. She guided the Bobcats to arguably their biggest win of the season with boys varsity coach Tommy Pillette assisting on the bench.
“I wasn’t nervous because Dana’s great with the girls, and they respond very well to her,” Bernard said. “They knew our game plan going into it, executed and came out with a real big win.”
Even from her hospital bed — some six hours after delivering Emmie — Bernard stayed close to her team’s action with her sister-in-law next to her providing play-by-play accounts through text messaging from a friend at the game.
“I felt like I was there with them,” she said.
Bernard was discharged Dec. 16 and wound up missing just two games. She resumed her coaching duties during the Vermilion Catholic’s Yuletide Classic where Erath overcame a first-round loss to win the consolation championship.
Coincidentally, Erath’s won twice — its final game of the Yuletide Classic and a subsequent home game with North Vermilion — with Emmie debuting at her mom’s games.
Bernard said she’s scheduled to return from maternity leave Feb. 15 and resume her teaching duties at Dozier Elementary, where she teaches fifth grade math.
Erath’s riding a five-game win streak going into Friday’s road game at Franklin, trying to remain one game behind E.D. White in the District 8-3A standings.
“This has worked so well because I have so much support where I can be active in my coaching role,” Bernard said. “It’s definitely a team effort all the way around.”