Kohlhase game for honour
IT WAS the fast-paced nature of softball that first hooked Eddie Kohlhase into the game.
He was 13 and keen to follow in his father’s footsteps, so he joined the Marist Softball Club, based in Penrose.
Now the Westmere resident has been formally recognised for his services to softball as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
‘‘Getting the award is a fantastic acknowledgement of those people who have helped me.’’
The Aucklander spent his entire career playing for Marist and says winning titles with them is something that has been really important and satisfying for him.
He first played for the Black Sox in 1983 and was part of the 1984 world championship winning side.
Injury forced him to hang up the cleats in 1995, so he changed his focus to coaching. In 1998 he was appointed assistant national coach under Don Tricker and was involved in world championship wins in 2000 and in 2004. He was named head coach of the Black Sox in 2004 and remained in that role until his retirement last year.
In his final year as coach he took the Black Sox to the 2013 world title which they won on home soil at North Shore’s Rosedale Park.
‘‘The Black Sox have been at the peak of their game for a long time and I think that will continue under new coach Mark Sorenson.’’
The father-of-two is now a High Performance Sport NZ coaching consultant but still finds time to coach a Marist under-15 side and is involved with the junior Auckland softball representative sides. A proud St Peter’s old boy, Kohlhase has two sons at the college and coaches the school’s softball team.
Kohlhase believes the sport has to target school-age players to boost numbers and return the sport to its glory days of the sixties and seventies.
‘‘It’s a fantastic sport involved in,’’ he says.
Black Sox head coach Eddie Kohlhase at the 2013 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship.