Gehrig Monday and Cooper Pease always make room for baseball.
The Whitewater High seniors are both three-sport athletes, but during the football, basketball and wrestling seasons, they both made time for the bat and glove.
“It’s (making time for baseball) pretty easy for me,” said Pease, who was a unanimous first-team selection at catcher in the Rock Valley Conference last season. “Baseball has always pretty much been my life. I have my brothers playing in college now, and I have my dad. We find time; we find places to do it.
“That’s what we do is baseball. It’s not like, ‘Oh let’s go watch a play.’ We’re going to talk about baseball and practice baseball.”
Both Pease and Monday played football in the fall.
During the winter season, Monday was on the wrestling team, while Pease was on the basketball team.
Still, like Pease, Monday makes time for baseball year-round.
“It’s never really shelved,” said Monday, who was an honorable mention RVC player last season as a pitcher. “I’m always doing something baseball related, rain or shine.
“It’s always on my mind.”
Pease, Monday and the rest of the Whippets baseball team faced uncertainty for most of the offseason. Whitewater was not able to hire a head coach until March.
‘“I think we definitely had heart on the team and had dedication,” Pease said. “The players were literally the only reason we worked in the offseason. I think we could have been pretty good.”
“Me and Cooper portrayed it to the team: Win, lose or draw, we were always going to try to be the hardest-playing team on the field,” Monday said. “Especially in our position, we knew a lot of eyes were going to be on us all the time.
“As long as you go out and play hard, that’s how you win ballgames.”
That mindset helped Whitewater to a 13-10 record last year and a third-place finish in the Rock Valley Conference.
Pease led the way with a .456 batting average in conference, including eight doubles and 15 RBI.
Although the pair participated in two other sports seasons during their senior year, they will not get to compete in the one that mattered most to them with the coronavirus pandemic canceling the baseball season.
“Losing the senior year was big,” Monday said. “At the same time, coming in as a freshman in the position I was in, all my sports throughout high school, my thing has been leaving Whitewater and all the programs I’m in in a better position than when I got there.
“It’s a better situation for those younger guys.”
The two Whippets will, at least, go on to play the sport they love at the next level.
Gehrig will go to Olive Harvey Community College in Chicago and hopes to transfer to a higher level of play after a couple years.
Pease will be joining his brother, Dylan, on Wisconsin Lutheran’s baseball team next season.
“I was looking far away and was looking close, and I just decided to stay close to home,” Pease said.
Hunter Martin—who was a unanimous first-team selection at pitcher last year for Whitewater—is also set to transfer to Wisconsin Lutheran.
“I guess it’s kind of bringing the whole gang back together,” Pease added.
Surely, the gang will make time for some baseball.