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For the ‘Love’ of the game

By: Zachary Manning | C&G Newspapers | Published September 17, 2018

 Southfield A&T volleyball coach Alisha Love and her son, Farmington Hills Harrison coach Micahel Love, stand together before a Sept. 13 match. A&T won the match 3-1.

Southfield A&T volleyball coach Alisha Love and her son, Farmington Hills Harrison coach Micahel Love, stand together before a Sept. 13 match. A&T won the match 3-1.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

SOUTHFIELD — When Southfield A&T and Farmington Hills Harrison met on the volleyball court Sept. 13, it was a dream come true for Warriors coach Alisha Love. 

For the first time in her coaching career, she was able to compete with and against her family on the volleyball court. Her son, Michael Love, is the coach of Harrison, and her daughter, Amanda Love, is an assistant coach for the Warriors. 

The mother and son were emotional talking about the match and how special it was to be able to compete against one another because not many families have the opportunity to do so. 

However, for a competitive family, this match was necessary. Alisha called it a friendly family rivalry, while Michael had T-shirts made before the match that read, “It’s all Love until someone takes the ‘L.’” 

“We could be playing Uno, and it’s competitive,” Alisha said. “It’s friendly competition. It never goes overboard, but it’s always competitive. We’re just a competitive family.” 

Despite being competitors, they have helped each other become better coaches over the years. They speak on a consistent basis and give each other advice about schemes and managing the match. 

They might have different opinions on certain topics because Alisha is “old school” while Michael is “new school,” but they never let it get out of hand.

“She’s old school, I’m new school, so it’s a big difference with my coaching style compared to her coaching style. She’s always been the same since day one. She doesn’t change in that aspect,” Michael said. “She’s helped me become a great coach from the old school aspect, and I’ve helped her in ways to the new school aspect of playing the game.”

The Loves have always been a close family, but volleyball has added more fun. Their relationship doesn’t change much on and off the court. They want to see each other succeed and do the best that they can. 

Obviously, the goal is to win, but the family aspect of the match is very important. At the end of the day, it’s just a game and they are still family. 

“It’s a dream come true. Honest to God, it’s a dream come true. I have some phenomenal children altogether. Two that are in Arizona, but the two that are here, Amanda is amazing. Very dependable, trustworthy,” Alisha said. “My son, the same things. He’s been coaching girls since I can remember. I was at (Livonia) Clarenceville in the ’80s and the ’90s, and he was helping me coach there, too. He’s a trustworthy man. He’s a great husband. It’s an awesome feeling.” 

A&T would go on to win the match 3-1, but the outcome wasn’t important. For Alisha, it was special to see her kids grow and be able to do what they love at the varsity level. 

“To see them grow and perfect some of the things you are teaching them, it’s a beautiful feeling,” Alisha said. “As a parent, there’s no greater feeling.” 

Call Sports Writer Zachary Manning at (586) 279-1107. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.