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Baseball

Heights baseball coach steps down

By Joanna Chadwick

Heights baseball coach Jeff Topping has resigned after 11 seasons as the head coach and 24 years in the program.

He will be an assistant with Maize softball.

“I stepped down mainly became of my family,” said Topping, who played at Heights, as well. “I have an opportunity to go and coach softball at Maize, where all my daughters will go to school…. I still have the passion to coach. I love coaching and want to help out kids. This opportunity was presented to me, and what better way than to be a coach to my own kids.”

Topping told the Heights baseball team on Thursday afternoon.

“We talk about family with our (players), and it would be hypocritical to be at Heights or leave practice early or not be fully in tune,” Topping said. “… I didn’t want them to be shortchanged at Heights.”

Topping also spent one season as the East baseball coach before replacing longtime Heights baseball coach Joe Auer. Topping had talked to Auer about the decision.

Auer, the Heights boys basketball coach, coached against his youngest son, Nick, who attended Kapaun Mount Carmel.

“When the (Maize softball) schedule came out, there was at least 8-10 games on the schedule that I would have had to miss because of coaching at Heights,” Topping said. “… My oldest (Kennedy) and my middle one (Hadley, a seventh grader), I’ve coached them since they were 3 at the YMCA…. It’s hard to miss their games in the summer. It was going to be equally hard, if not harder, to have them play high school and not be there.”

Topping’s youngest daughter, Blakely, is in third grade.

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