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Pageant dad: A-State baseball coach doubles as daughter's cheerleader

Claudia Raffo (KATV Photo)

The ASU baseball coach is now doubling as his daughter's number one cheerleader.

Tommy Raffo is a proud pageant dad, supporting his oldest child, Claudia, as Miss White River.

"It's been neat to see her grow at ASU."

With Miss Arkansas looming, Coach Raffo offered this advice:

"Be Claudia Raffo. That's what I tell my players when they step up to bat, throw their next pitch, be Claudia Raffo. Be whoever you are and when you do that you can't go wrong."

This week, the coach said he is looking for just one thing from his oldest daughter.

"You just want the effort and if the effort's there, which we know it will be, just lay it on the line. There's nothing else you can do, it's out of your control."

Coach Raffo said the best thing is seeing his girl develop what he believes will be life-long friendships.

"When you hear those stories come back, and the actual stories they share together and the bonds they share, it'ts kind of neat during that time period."

But what is dad's role in the pre-pageant preparation? Fitness.

"We kind of bonded over the fact that we can work out together. When I'm home from break we love to get a morning workout in so that's been really cool to kind of bond with him over that."

Good news for the Raffo family, Claudia Raffo won Wednesday night's preliminary swimsuit competition.

Remember, you can watch the pageant live Saturday night at 7:00 on Channel 7.

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