Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Sidelines: St. Francis baseball field named to honor Kober



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The highly successful coach who insists on always moving forward finally agreed to stop and reflect, at least for a few hours, last Saturday.

Don Kober, 56, in his 33rd season as head baseball coach at St. Francis de Sales, was recognized at a ceremony between games of a doubleheader sweep over visiting Parma Holy Name. The Knights baseball field was formally dedicated as Don Kober Field, and a new sign was unveiled at the gate leading into the facility.

The veteran coach was also asked to address a crowd heavily stocked with former Knight players.

They had asked if they could do something like this in past years, but I didn t think it was necessary, he said. I guess I just finally gave in. It was an emotional experience. I didn t know how the day was going to go, but there were so many former players that showed up a lot of them from out of town that it was very overwhelming.

More than 200 former Knights who played for Kober since 1974 attended either the doubleheader or a subsequent formal celebration Saturday night in the Roost at Fifth Third Field during a Mud Hens game. Tim Gerken, Kober s longtime assistant coach, organized the event.

It was a special thing to see all those guys come out, Kober said. In addition to those who were there physically, I also received so many letters and e-mails from players who couldn t make it.

As a coach, you always keep moving forward to the next practice or the next game or the next season. This allowed me to stop and take a look back, to stop and enjoy the moment. It was a little surreal, actually, but it was a lot of fun. With all those players from the different teams, the stories were flowing.

Entering last night s City League game against St. John s Jesuit which will be Kober s 900th with the Knights St. Francis was 15-3 overall and 5-0 in league play. Last season the Knights won their 10th CL championship under Kober (651-248 career, .724), who has also guided St. Francis to four regional appearances and two state semifinals (1974 and 1999).

Toledo Christian junior standout Maggie Busch has verbally committed to continue her career at the University of Michigan.

She joins her brother, Jacob Busch, in the Big Ten. Jacob is a freshman member of the Ohio State swim team.

Maggie helped the 24-1 Eagles to the Division IV regional, and earned player-of-the-year honors on both the Toledo Area Athletic Conference and the District 7 Coaches Association D-IV team.

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