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Crestview grad comes to silver screen in ‘Gibsonburg’ PDF Print E-mail
Friday, June 07, 2013 12:14 AM


DHI Correspondent

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After nearly two years, Crestview grad Kyle Rase’s transition from the baseball diamond to the silver screen is almost complete.

“Gibsonburg,” a movie about the 2005 Gibsonburg Tiger baseball team which won a state championship under Coach Rase after a 6-17 regular season, was released Wednesday at the Marcus Cinema at Crosswoods in Columbus.

It is set to be seen starting 9 p.m. Saturday at the Van Wert Cinemas and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday at the Shannon Theater in Bluffton.


“I’m excited that (the movie) is going to be out, but I’m also sad because I’ve gotten to be pretty close friends with everyone who worked on the movie,” said Rase about wrapping up a project which he had been a part of since late 2010.


The Times Bulletin first met up with Rase in July of 2011, shortly after filming of the movie began.

Rase recalled that his late father gave him the idea to write down everything that happened during Gibsonburg’s magical tournament run because somebody might be interested in his story someday.

That somebody ended up being Bob Mahaffey of Xcelerate Media Inc. in Dublin, Ohio, who met with Rase in November of 2010 about turning the story into a movie. Mahaffey heard the Gibsonburg story from a niece at a family get-together.

Mahaffey decided to take on the project, allowing a $200,000 budget. Filming began in April 2011, but kicked into high-gear in mid-May of that year. The crew for the film mainly consisted of interns from around the Columbus area.

At the end of a July 7, 2011, Times Bulletin article titled “Crestview grad going from ball diamond to silver screen,” Rase explained that filming was to wrap up in August of 2011.

“We wrapped up filming, then it went to post-production,” recalled Rase in an interview with the Times Bulletin Tuesday. “In June of 2012, a year ago at this same time, it was selected for a film festival in California - in Hollywood - called the ‘Dances With Films Festival’.”

The festival took place at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The film was one of 21 selected out of some 1,500 entries.

“Because of that, we picked up a distribution deal with a company out of the Nashville area. Then everything now is just planning, it is going to be (widely) released this Friday,” continued Rase.

The final cut of the movie was shown to the 2005 team, which finished with a record of 14-17 after winning the 2005 Division IV state championship, on May 26 along with family, friends and crew members.

“One, it was surreal to see the state championship played out in the movie. Two, I was part of this project for the past two years. A lot of work finally came to completion. It’s always neat to see your finished product,” said Rase about viewing the final cut on the 26th, though he had seen many rough cuts along the way.

Rase was the baseball consultant for the film, working with the cast and crew to help make the baseball scenes realistic. He also acted as an extra, ironically playing an assistant coach for Gibsonburg.

“The distribution deal will put us on video on-demand, such as Netflix, late in the summer. Then, I believe, the DVD will be available at Walmart,” explained Rase.

Rase threw out the first pitch at the Indians/Reds game last Wednesday and his schedule doesn’t ease up this week. He will be promoting the movie at the Columbus Clippers game Wednesday and the Toledo Mud Hens game Thursday.

“It’s been pretty hectic but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Rase, who has juggled production of a movie with his job as a baseball coach for more than two years. “It’s something I never thought I would even be a part of - working a project with a movie about one of my teams. It’s something I’ll always remember. I’ve had neat experiences as far as going to Hollywood and throwing out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game.”

Now, with the movie set to be released this week, Rase reflects mostly on the relationships he has gained along the way.

“The biggest way (the movie) changed my life is I got a lot more friends. Another circle of friends would be a better way to put it. Lifelong friends I’ve made throughout the process.”

Seeing the move in its entirety also gives Rase perspective on the accomplishment his team made exactly eight years ago Tuesday.

“I feel very fortunate that my players gave me a chance to be a part of this. Winning a state championship. It’s more of what they did than anything I did. (Seeing the move) was a reminder just how big of an event it was,” he explained. “Now that I’ve coached for nine years, I’ve realized just how hard it is to win one tournament game - let alone eight in a row. Especially as you keep advancing levels.”

Despite Rase’s busy schedule this week, there is one final stop he will make today. He will be in Columbus at 4 p.m. to watch his alma mater and mentor, Coach Jim Wharton, play in the state semifinals - 20 years removed from Crestview’s first state semifinal team, of which Rase was a member.

“Crestview is down (at state), so it couldn’t be more of a fairy-tale ending,” Rase concluded.

Last Updated on Friday, June 07, 2013 12:23 AM

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