Establishing Presence: A Chip Fullerton/Annie Smith Sports Novel – Book Three by T.L. Hoch


Reviewed by Teri Davis

Establishing PresenceWhat is the purpose of a softball game? Is it the same as a basketball game? Is there a difference between the two? Is winning the goal of both sports? Is winning everything? Can you learn more than the techniques of a competition by not winning?

Between the junior and senior years of high school, a few exceptional female athletes are invited to assist at a sports camp for women’s softball and basketball. Annie, Chip, and Jenny are from the small town of Reston, Texas and joined by Cheryl while rooming together at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Cheryl’s uncle is in charge of the camp and is thrilled to have these exceptionally talented high-school seniors joining her.

The four girls enthusiastically work with the younger campers teaching them the technicalities and techniques needed to improve their skills. Including becoming better players, they also quickly learn that building their game skills are as necessary as building their personal and interpersonal skills.

Establishing Presence is the third book in this T. L. Hoch series featuring Chip Fullerton and Annie Smith.

What is special about these books, especially Establishing Presence? The novel is for male and female middle-school and high school students, even prospective coaches proving that winning is important but the life skills learned in sports are as valuable as a victory or a loss. How do you win or lose depends on your personal character. These often underlying values are what creates an outstanding person as an adult. Also mentioned is even the importance of the music department, although it was lightly mentioned, but at least recognized.

The previous books, Chasing Normal for girls’ basketball and Discovering Balance about girls’ softball, introduced the characters as well as Jenny, Luke.

The foundation of these books is demonstrating the need to reach beyond the sport and coach each player in developing into a more mature, caring adult.

T. L. Hoch is a Michigan native who earned a teaching degree as well as a masters degree in education. He has worked as a coach at football, basketball, softball as well as golf. He now enjoys his retirement and while reflecting on his past experiences into building well-written stories for high-school students based around a sports theme.

Establishing Presence is a special novel written for teens, especially sport fans. However, the book is also valuable to coaches of all sports at all levels, as well as all readers.