Rivalry does not come between family
Any time Weatherford and Clinton play a baseball game, Carol Gaunt sits in the middle with a neutral cap.
He has two sons, Todd and Kelly. Todd is baseball coach at Weatherford and Kelly is baseball coach at Clinton.
“It is nerve-wracking watching them and you just have to sit in the middle with a neutral cap on,” Carol said. “I am just so proud of the two of them and how they can compete on the baseball field, but off the field, they love each other so much.”
Kelly is 56 and Todd is 51. The Gaunt brothers have been involved in athletics for their entire lives. They each played football, basketball and baseball.
Carol, 86, was the principal for Weatherford High School and Weatherford Elementary School. Their uncle Doyle Bergner was baseball coach at Weatherford, from 1960-82.
Besides coaching baseball, Todd coaches and still is coaches and still is coaching football as an assistant. He used to be an assistant basketball coach as well.
Todd said it always is a big game when Weatherford and Clinton play, but it always means so much more when they played against each other in the state tournament.
“When you meet up in the state tournament, it always is a big game,” Todd said. “Weatherford and Clinton always have been long-time rivals in every sport, but playing against each other in the state tournament does not get much bigger or better than that.”
Kelly said his biggest accomplishment was winning the state championship in 1994 as they beat Ada 11-3.
“Winning the state championship was awesome,” Kelly said. “We worked so hard and to see our season end with a state championship was special.”
Kelly said the semifinal game was one of the most fun games he has coached.
“Playing in that game was a lot of fun,” Kelly said. “It was a great atmosphere and even though we lost, it was still fun to be a part of.”
Todd said beating Clinton for a spot in the state championship was a big moment.
“That was a huge win for us,” Todd said. “We were up 5-1 and Clinton made a comeback and we held on and got to the state tournament.”
Weatherford went on to beat Collinsville in the state championship game.
Todd said he and his brother know there is so much more to life than coaching baseball.
“We discuss a lot of topics off the field,” Todd said. “We help each other when we can and are great friends on and off the field.”
Kelly said back in the day, it was more of a competition between the two of them to win.
“Earlier in our careers, we cared more about beating each other for bragging rights,” Kelly said. “Now, we are just focusing on winning the district and we make it more about the kids.”
Kelly played baseball at SWOSU and pitched and played in the outfield. He has been the baseball coach at Clinton for 30 years.
Kelly coached softball at Clinton, he was an assistant for junior high football and currently is the assistant high school boys basketball coach.
Todd has been coaching at Weatherford for the past 30 years. He was an assistant for seven years and then was the head coach for 23 years.
He graduated from SWOSU before coaching at Weatherford. He has five state championships total and three of those came when he was an assistant coach. The other two were when he was the head coach. He has four state runner ups, two came when he was an assistant, the other two when he was the head coach.