By STEVE KRAH
Ty Foster’s father taught him much about baseball.
Rick Foster coached baseball at Danville (Ind.) Community High School for more than 35 years and passed along what he knew about the game to sons Ryne (Danville Class of 2004) and Ty (Class of 2007).
“He knows so much,” says Ty of his father, who he now counts as an assistant as he heads into his fourth season as head coach at Cascade High School in Clayton, Ind., in 2019. “He dives into the rules and the minor details of coaching.”
“He also makes it enjoyable. You can have a good time (playing baseball). It’s great having him around everyday.”
Ty says his coaching approach is a mix of his former coaches.
Besides his father, there’s Danville basketball coach Brian Barber, Manchester College (now Manchester University) baseball coach Rick Espeset and Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter baseball coach Dave Scott.
Barber has won 375 career games, including 336 in 19 seasons at Danville.
Espeset has led the Manchester Spartans for than two decades and a couple of NCAA Division III World Series appearances.
“He was not a big yeller,” says Foster of Espeset. “He would use charisma. There were little tics that you’ll never forget.”
Foster was a first baseman and designated hitter during his college days and was invited to spring training with the independent Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums.
Scott took Ritter to an IHSAA Class 2A state title in 2017. Foster was on his Raiders staff for two seasons before taking over the reins at Cascade.
Besides Rick Foster, Ty’s Cadets coaching staff includes Aaron Clark, Tim Horning, Corey Clark, Todd Blackburn, Mitch Duncan and Griffin Miller.
Aaron Clark is a former Danville coach. Horning works with Cascade’s pitchers. Corey Clark is Aaron’s son. Duncan played shortstop for Ty Foster at Cascade. Miller played for him at Ritter.
Rick Foster is still an industrial technology teacher and a head boys tennis coach and a boys basketball assistant at Danville.
Ty has watched older brother Ryne “fill up his resume” as a coach. He recently became an assistant at St. Charles Community College in Cottleville, Mo., after serving as a volunteer assistant at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University.
Ryne Foster has also been an assistant at Cleveland (Tenn.) State Community College, Georgia Southwestern State University and Concordia Colllege in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was head coach of the Boonville, N.Y.-based Adirondack Trail Blazers in the New York Collegiate Baseball League and Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
Cousin Reed Foxworthy is the head baseball coach at Seeger High School in West Lebanon, Ind. He is one of three triplets and is a son to a brother of Ty’s mother, Alice Foster.
Ty is grateful for the support of his mother.
“My mom is my biggest fan and has always been there,” says Ty Foster. “She never missed a game through high school and taking me to watch my dad coach after Little :eague games.
“She’s traveled far and wide when I was in college to see me play whenever she could. She’s helped me with my hitting when my dad wasn’t available and always been her kids’ biggest supporter. I wouldn’t of got to where I am with her being there.”
There is extra excitement around Cascade because a new turf baseball field is nearing completion.
The school will become the first in Hendricks County to put turf on the entire baseball field this fall (Danville has a turf infield and grass outfield). Cadet softball will also play on the carpet.
“We’ll be able to get in more games and practices,” says Ty Foster of the advantages of turf. “We can get out there and long toss instead of going to the auxiliary gym.”
Turf also means a smoother surface.
No more “The Cade claimed another victim today” or “The Cade’s not happy today.”
Ty, who spends his days doing housing inspections for a company in Carmel, Ind., is married to a kindergarten teacher. Katie (Hall) Foster teaches at Mill Creek East Elementary in Clayton. She played softball at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., and was head softball coach at Cascade.
Ty and Katie celebrated their second wedding anniversary in September.
Though plans call for a move to the Indiana Crossroads Conference in 2019-20, Cascade is now in the Western Indiana Conference.
The WIC is separated into divisions — Cascade, Brown County, Cloverdale, Edgewood, Indian Creek and Owen Valley in the East and Greencastle, North Putnam, Northview, South Putnam, Sullivan and West Vigo in the West.
WIC teams play within their division then play crossover playoff games (No. 1 in the East takes on No. 1 in the West etc.).
An IHSAA Class 2A school of about 450, Cascade is in a sectional grouping with Covenant Christian, Indianapolis Arlington, Indianapolis Washington, Indianapolis Shortridge, Park Tudor and Speedway.
The Cadets last won a sectional crown in 2005.
Cascade is on a balanced school calendar, meaning the Cadets get two weeks of spring break. Baseball games are not played until after the break.
By district rule, student-athletes can’t be be forced to miss vacation trips the first week, though Foster holds practices for those who don’t leave town.
Typically, the Cadets have a couple of weeks of preseason baseball practice.
The new IHSAA rule that allows coaches to work with their teams for two hours two days a week during a fall window, which closes Oct. 12 and re-opens the first week of December.
“The spirit of the rule is great,” says Foster. “We can actually get kids going and learn things.”
Cascade Middle School and Cascade Youth League (located in Amo) are feeders for the high school baseball program.
Former long-time Danville (Ind.) Community High School baseball coach Rick Foster (left) is now on the Cascade High School coaching staff led by youngest son Ty Foster (left). Rick and Alice Foster’s oldest son, Ryne, coaches in college.
Cascade High School head baseball coach Ty Foster (left) celebrates with Cadet Dylan Kottkamp during the 2018 season. The 2019 campaign will be Foster’s fourth leading the program.