The longtime coach is back, after a year away

by: JOHN DENNY - Gladstone coach Casey WebsterCasey Webster has returned to head up the baseball program at Gladstone High School, after a year away. He replaces his brother Clark, who stepped down after a year at the helm.

Casey Webster, who grew up in Gladstone and began teaching and coaching at Gladstone High School during the 1990-91 school year, said of his decision to return:

“I had my right hip replaced in March and I feel pretty good now..... I knew I wasn’t done coaching and I had some time to reflect. The position opened up at Gladstone, so I said, ‘Let’s do it again.’

“Right now I’m having a good time, coaching summer ball and hanging out with guys I like to be around. I plan to be here for a few more years.”

A year ago, when announcing his retirement, Webster had said, “All along I’ve planned to go out with my son [2012 Gladstone High School graduate Trace Webster]. Right now, I’m done coaching. In a couple of years away I might be re-energized and decide to come back....”

Webster’s Gladstone High School teams have had their share of success. His Gladstone teams advanced to postseason play nearly every year that he was head coach.

He took a team to the state final for the first time in school history in 2004 (8-3 loss to Henley), and he had teams advance to the quarterfinals in 1999, 2003 and 2009. Webster had five teams win league titles (1998, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

Webster had only five losing seasons in his first 22 seasons at Gladstone, and three of those came during the four seasons (1999-2002) when Gladstone competed in the big-school classification. Webster’s Gladiators have gone 174-90 over their last 10 seasons, winning 66 percent of their games.

“I’ve always tried to play a tough preseason schedule,” he says. “Because I think it makes you better.”

There have been many improvements to Gladstone High School baseball facilities since Casey Webster took over the program: new dugouts and concession stands, an announcer’s booth, indoor batting cages, a home run fence, a scoreboard, lights, drainage improvements, and the purchase of a field tarp.

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