Peter earns 4A Mental Attitude AwardJune 22, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
INDIANAPOLIS — Ross Peter prefers to work behind the scenes. Jasper’s senior catcher needs to stay alert at all times throughout the course of any given game.
However, he was caught off guard when Wildcats head coach Terry Gobert embraced him on Tuesday evening. Peter did not expect to win the 4A Bob Gardner Mental Attitude Award, but he was quick to give credit to his fellow Cats.
“I’ve got a couple great teammates that are great,” Peter said. “They’re deserving of it, too. It came as a surprise to me.”
Peter is the tenth Mental Attitude Award winner in Jasper’s history. Most recently, Evan Aders won the award for Jasper in 2017. Peter is known for calling the pitches, and he handled that duty with grace during Jasper’s 31-2 campaign.
Try as he might, he just wouldn’t stop deflecting.
“I couldn’t do it without them all,” Peter said about his teammates. “It feels great to represent the program like that and represent the guys who have worn it before me. It’s great to have that honor.”
Even if he wanted to, Peter would have been hard-pressed to capture the award in more appropriate fashion. He ripped two doubles for Jasper in its 3-1 victory over Fishers in Tuesday evening’s 4A State Championship. His second double brought home two runs and proved to be the difference in the game.
“Those seniors put this team on their backs,” Gobert said. “They wanted to do something to make it special. Ross has been such a good kid. He’s an absolute joy to coach. It’s great to see him rewarded like that. He represents the whole school and program very well.”
Peter handled business with the leather and the lumber. He helped senior Grant Stratton toss a complete game in Tuesday evening’s win.
“It’s great to have him behind me,” Stratton said. “He knows what pitches to call every time. When I’m struggling, he’ll come talk to me. When I’m doing good, he’ll know what pitches to call and where to go with them when they’re on.”
The award was certainly an honor, but Peter had his sights set on winning a state championship.
“It’s been a team goal all year long to get up here and win it,” Peter said. “It just feels great to achieve it as a team. It’s a sweet victory.”
As a senior, Peter took the initiative to lead the Cats on Tuesday.
“The biggest thing tonight was getting everybody on the same page,” he said. “The team that was going to win it was who settled in first, relaxed and realized that it was just another game. I think we did that. We prepared for it like another game. Coach was giving us information and things like that on the team. We couldn’t get caught up in the moment too much. We just had to play our game.”
Gobert underscored Peter’s demeanor in practices and in games. In the heat of the moment, the catcher kept a level head.
“Whatever it is, he just gets it done,” Gobert said. “You saw him — he blocked the ball phenomenally. He did everything we needed.”
Moments before he greeted his peers along Victory Field’s third-base line, Peter offered some final words about his honor. His attitude of gratitude prevailed.
“I just want to thank my teammates for everything they’ve done for me and thank my coaches for everything they’ve done for me,” he said.
Jasper Mental Attitude Award Winners
1967 — Phil Rohleder
1996 — Phil Kendall
1997 — Matt Mauck
1998 — Heath Uppencamp
2006 — Sam Linette
2010 — Austin Ahrens
2013 — Nick Gobert
2015 — Ben Moore
2017 — Evan Aders
2021 — Ross Peter
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