Cain, Weber earn baseball coaching honors

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


MARK WEBER, longtime Howards Grove head baseball coach, earned the Distinguished Service award from the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association. – Submitted photo MARK WEBER, longtime Howards Grove head baseball coach, earned the Distinguished Service award from the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association. – Submitted photo High school baseball head coaches Butch Cain of Plymouth and Mark Weber, Howards Grove, earned prestigious honors from the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association at its annual clinic recently in Madison.

Cain was selected the Summer Baseball Coach of the Year for the 2014 season after he guided the Panthers to the state tournament and their second straight Eastern Wisconsin Conference title. PHS was 28-5 overall – setting a school record for the most wins in a season – and finished 17-1 in the EWC.

The Panthers lost to eventual champion Brookfield Central in the state semifinals, 2-1, in an outstanding pitchers’ duel. PHS has reached the state tourney three times during Cain’s 11 years at the helm.


BUTCH CAIN, pictured talking strategy with Plymouth Panthers Luke Held (7) and son, Zac, at last season’s state tournament, was named the WBCA’s Summer Baseball Coach of the Year. – Review file photo BUTCH CAIN, pictured talking strategy with Plymouth Panthers Luke Held (7) and son, Zac, at last season’s state tournament, was named the WBCA’s Summer Baseball Coach of the Year. – Review file photo Weber, who has been the Tigers’ head coach the past 20 seasons, received a Distinguished Service Award. Weber has been active in baseball for over 40 years, beginning with his playing career as a youth in Menasha.

He has been promoting youth, high school, college and men’s league baseball for several years in Howards. Weber runs baseball camps and tournaments throughout Sheboygan County.

Last year, the Tigers won the Central Lakeshore Conference championship with an 18-0 record, advanced to the sectional semifi- nals and finished 22-3 overall. Weber was voted the CLC’s Coach of the Year last season. HGHS lost to PHS in the sectional.

“This honor really is a community award as many people had a hand in it,” said Cain who was named the EWC’s Coach of the Year in 2014.

“The players, families, staff, school, administration, the community as a whole and supportive efforts of many others played an important role in this becoming a reality for our program,” he said.

“The players made many sacrifices and worked their tails off to be the best team they could be while working together on the diamond.

“It was very nice to receive the honor but something that became a reality only because of the contributions made by many people during our successful run to state,” said Cain.

Cain pointed out why he’s been successful as a coach and why the PHS baseball program has been good.

“We have been fortunate to have had some good players and fine young men who have been afforded the opportunity to play together for multiple seasons and therefore they have built a strong bond with common goals while being involved in our program,” he said.

“The experience our guys earned early in their [high school] careers was largely responsible last year as we had many threeand four-year letter winners on the team,” said Cain.

“The Distinguished Service Award is a very prestigious award because only a few coaches receive it from the entire state and I’m honored to be considered with such great coaches,” said Weber.

Weber pointed out who played a key role in him earning the award.

“I’d have to say that I’ve been blessed to have such a great dad who coached me and to have been supported by so many in the Howards Grove community. The WBCA has so many fine mentors and resources for coaches,” he said.

“I’m very passionate about baseball. It provides so many life lessons to our young men and I’m privileged to have the opportunity to mentor them. As long as the good Lord lets me, I’ll keep coaching.”

Weber was asked what he enjoys the most about coaching.

“Well, its such a gift. There’s a joy to it. Baseball offers a very level competitive playing field where height doesn’t matter and there’s no clock,” he said.

“It’s a highly skilled game as well where you need your team to win but you [as a coach] can also greatly influence the outcome, both offensively and defensively.

“There’s no other game like it. It’s America’s pastime – a remedy to our hectic lives. It’s truly the greatest game, period,” he added.

Weber and Cain played together on the Howards Grove Athletic Club’s semi-pro baseball team in 1982 and ‘83. Weber also played semi-pro baseball for the Menasha Macs and Two Rivers Polar Bears.

“We have mutual respect for each other and enjoy coaching the game we love,” said Weber.


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