Raiders Jake Gehring has a positive attitude following unusual injury

Sports

Ohio State signee, Gehring looks forward to working back from Tommy John surgery

South Range's Jake Gehring named WKBN Diamond King

GREENFORD, Ohio (WKBN) – While high school baseball players are enjoying their return to area diamonds this spring following a canceled 2020 season, one local player is enduring a second consecutive idle season.  However, he is taking a positive spin on his situation.

South Range Raiders standout senior pitcher Jacob Gehring, an Ohio State signee, is spending this season watching from the bench while he rehabs an injury requiring Tommy John surgery.  But he feels that if he was going to suffer the injury he incurred, he now has an opportunity to get the best medical attention he could receive.

“It’s funny, I told my parents this, there is never a good time to get hurt, but this is probably one of the best times to rehab from an injury like this,” Gehring stated.  “Yes, I’m going to miss my senior year, but I’m able to use the great resources at Ohio State to rehab and get up to full strength.”

“This summer we are going to help you with your rehab, get you right and get you even better than you were before.   So that has been very comforting to hear that they are 100% vested in me and my recovery,” He added.

Gehring stated that Buckeyes head coach Greg Beals and the entire program have been both sympathetic, trusting, and more importantly, very supportive in his rehabilitation of the arm.  Tommy John surgery is not an unusual injury in the Buckeyes baseball program even if Gehring’s was a bit unusual.  And they fully supported him in having the surgery performed.

The injury occurred during the Raiders football playoff run last fall when Gehring, an outstanding tight end/defensive end for the Raiders, took a helmet hit to his right throwing elbow during their game on October 24th with Beechwood.  At the time, he just thought it was a bone bruise.  But it turned into something much worse.

“Obviously I sat out the rest of the playoffs just as a precautionary measure because it swelled up really bad.  We got an MRI and we thought it was just a bone bruise so I rehabbed the crap out of it for about a month or so,” Gehring said.  “The arm looked normal, it felt normal.  A little pain, but nothing crazy.”

But as Gehring prepped for the start of the baseball season, he noticed that something wasn’t quite right.

“It felt like something was off.  It didn’t feel right.  So we said let’s go get another opinion and another MRI to see what’s happening.  We went to doctor Schickendantz from the Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Indians team doctor.  He told me that my UCL had ripped off the bone from the impact.  So I ended up getting Tommy John surgery from football instead of baseball.”

Schickendantz confirmed for the Gehring family that it was from the impact of the injury and not a fatigue issue on his arm from pitching.  Gehring’s strong pitching without any discomfort in summer baseball added confirmation to the history of the injury.

“I had the surgery on January 18th so I’m three months out.  It feels good, no pain so far.  I just started doing some reverse throws with plyo balls and curls, tricep pushdowns, things that hurt before surgery do not hurt now.  I’m starting to see the difference before and after surgery,” Gehring explained.

Although the future looks bright for Gehring, he admits that it is tough to watch baseball this season and to not be out there participating.  Especially with this being his senior year.

“It’s definitely tough, and I think with every game we play this season it gets tougher.  Especially as this season starts coming down to a close.  If you would have told me my last high school baseball game would have been a District Finals loss versus Canton Central (Catholic) my sophomore year, I would have called you crazy,” He remarked.

Gehring pointed out that ironically he is a four-year letterman in football, two years of basketball, and now just two of baseball.

Due to his current status, he is serving as a player/coach this season for the Raiders team, charting the pitching in games, helping with bullpen sessions, and is also a listening ear to his teammates.  Things he might want to pursue later in life.

“If any of the young guys come to me and ask for help I try to help them.  I’ve found that I really, really like coaching.  That is something that I could see myself doing in the future.  Even though I’m not growing as a player, I feel I’m growing as a person,” He remarked.

One of those younger players is Gehring’s younger brother Luke who is a freshman pitcher on the Raiders team.  He also has a brother Will who is in seventh grade at South Range.  With his brothers and mother Trinetta and father Bill, Jacob has a lot of support from his family to get back on the mound.

Besides the support of his family, Gehring also has a key teammate in senior catcher Trey Pancake, who is also an Ohio State signee.  As long-time friends and battery mates, Pancake is helping Gehring in his recovery.

“He’s always been there for me.  He’s helping through the rehab, and he’s going to be the first person I play catch with when I’m back throwing.  He’s like a brother to me.”

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