Family, tradition highlight Gobert's milestoneMay 6, 2019
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
JASPER — Terry Gobert has never been one to worry about milestones.
While he’s achieved many accomplishments during his 32-year tenure as the head baseball coach at Jasper High School, he notched another significant victory on Monday night at Alvin C. Ruxer Field.
But even after becoming just the fifth coach in Indiana prep baseball history to reach 800 career victories following the 10-0 victory over Gibson Southern in five innings, it became rather evident that there was one thing that Gobert was more concerned about — spending time with his family.
“I didn’t know my daughter (Maria) came home today from summer school at IU and I didn’t know that my son Nick was coming up from USI — if I hadn’t looked up and saw them, I wouldn’t have even known they were there,” Gobert said. “It starts with my wife and kids — (Caroline) has become so involved with the program, it’s been our life. For (my family) to always put up with it, they’ve just always kind of given me that pass.”
Following the victory over the Titans (8-7), athletic director Brian Lewis and Greater Jasper School District superintendent Tracy Lorey presented Gobert with a plaque and a commemorative ball celebrating the accomplishment.
Gobert joins LaPorte’s Ken Schreiber, Evansville Memorial’s Quentin Merkel, Andrean’s Dave Pishkur and Twin Lakes’ Jake Burton as other coaches who have reached the 800-win mark. Pishkur and Burton are the only other two that are still currently coaching.
There’s two things that really stand out to Gobert during his tenure with the Wildcats (16-3). First, during his 32-year head coaching career the Cats have made the state finals at least once every four years which means each kid in the program has had an opportunity to go to state. Second, Gobert has coached eight out of the nine IHSAA Mental Attitude award winners Jasper baseball has had.
“I mean, who gets that opportunity?”, Gobert said. “That says a lot about the kids that we’ve had come through this program.”
The moment was special for more than just Gobert and his family — it was an opportunity that current members of the Jasper baseball program were grateful to have.
“800 wins? I mean, man that’s a lot of games,” said senior shortstop Josh Weidenbenner with a laugh. “To me, Jasper is a baseball town. Everyone loves baseball, we have a great tradition and everyone knows that. It’s really fun getting everyone together, especially on a night like this.”
Senior second baseman Grant Ahlbrand added: “The program and the culture that Ray (Howard) and (Gobert) have developed through the past four decades is just unbelievable. To win 800 games in a competitive baseball state like Indiana and just to be consistently competitive each season — it’s impressive.”
The win was also memorable for many of the assistant coaches on the staff. Several of the current coaches also played under Gobert — guys such as pitching coach Andy Noblitt and freshman coach Eric Dall.
Current assistant athletic director Phil Kendall also was grateful to see the 800th win recorded. Kendall was a big part of many of the victories as a player with the Wildcats as well as a pitching coach.
“To see the players grow up and go through the program means the most to him, way more than any accomplishment,” Kendall said. “It’s not about the total number for him, it’s about raising boys into men and more about life and the game of baseball.”
In terms of Monday night’s game, Jasper jumped out to a 4-0 lead right away courtesy of an RBI double from Andrew Wallace and an RBI single from Carter Stamm. The Cats tacked on two more runs courtesy of a bunt single from Isaac Bartley and an RBI groundout from Grant Ahlbrand to make it 4-0.
After a run scored on a wild pitch and a Trevor Krapf sacrifice fly made it 6-0 in the second inning, Krapf added another RBI with a single in the third to make it 7-0.
Jasper scored two more runs in the fourth via a wild pitch and an error and Jade Jochum gave the Cats the victory in five innings as he drove in Phillip Noblitt with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Sophomore starting pitcher Grant Stratton made his varsity debut on the mound and pitched a shutout victory in his first ever game. He gave up just four hits while striking out four batters.
“We got off to a nice start but we’ve done that in the past and then just kind of shut it down. Tonight, I said we need to try and score every inning and we did that,” Gobert said. “For (Grant) to come in and get a shutout, it’s cool — it says a lot about him being ready to go and to our JV coaches for having him ready for this level.”
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