Friday, November 1, 2013

Gabes gets first retirement wish - going to State Cross Country

from today's Waukesha Freeman - 

Retiring coach gets his wish
Gabelbauer has CMH boys team in state meet

Freeman Staff 

WAUKESHA – John Gabelbauer didn’t want to say anything, but he really wanted to travel to Wisconsin Rapids this weekend. 

Gabelbauer is retiring from teaching at Catholic Memorial High School after this school year, and he also will step down as coach of the boys cross country team. 

To finish his cross country coaching career at Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 state meet is the perfect sendoff in Gabelbauer’s mind. 

“I didn’t say anything about it, but secretly I hoped for it,” Gabelbauer said of advancing the team to state. 

It is the first trip to state since CMH finished second in 2008. It’s quite an accomplishment for a team that posted an incomplete score at last year’s Classic 8 Conference meet. “A couple of kids really came through this year and kind of surprised us,” Gabelbauer said, referring to senior Alex Dodd and junior Brad Bodus. 

Dodd finished 14th at the sectional level and Bodus 28th. They were Memorial’s third and fifth runners, respectively, but they helped the team edge runner-up Pewaukee by three points for the sectional title. 

“They’ve been with us a few years, but all of a sudden they’ve really stepped it up,” Gabelbauer said. “I talk with the coaches every day, and we’re really not sure why – and we’re not asking until the end of the season.” 

Sophomore Jack Zwisler was third in the sectional, junior Evan Wetzel eighth and sophomore Andrew Hirsch 22nd. The top finishers were the five who Gabelbauer was counting on when the season began. 

“We knew we had five guys and no margin for error,” he said.

Saturday’s state meet at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids will be Gabelbauer’s final cross country meet as a head coach.

“My grandkids are getting older and play football up in Oshkosh,” he said. “I saw one football game this year. It’s just time. I could say I’d stay for another year or two, and then it would turn into three, four or five.

“I could help out parttime if it works out.”

Photo credits: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman

Top - John Gabelbauer makes his last trip Saturday to the state cross country meet as head coach of the Catholic Memorial boys team. 

Bottom -  Sophomore, Jack Zwisler, No. 1307, is one of Catholic Memorial’s leaders.

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