Senior Spotlight: Bob Tilot – Bay Port baseball, hockey
BY RICH PALZEWIC
Bob Tilot is a recent graduate of Bay Port High School, where he was a member of the baseball and hockey teams, and graduated with honors.
Tilot plans to attend St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, and study data, analytics and business intelligence. He will be playing for the Bay Port Legion and Hofa Park (Dairyland League) baseball teams this summer.
Bob hit .417 in conference play this spring and had eight goals and five assists as a defenseman for the Pirates’ hockey team last winter.
Name: Robert Tilot
Nickname: Bob, Bobby
School: Bay Port
Sports: baseball, hockey
Parents: John & Sheri
Position: infield & pitcher, defenseman
How do you pronounce your last name?
Do you have any siblings?
“I have an older brother named Riley who will turn 22 shortly.”
Do you come from a sports family?
“Riley plays college hockey at Bethel University, my dad played hockey, baseball and some fast-pitch softball and my mom never really played sports; but she knows baseball and hockey pretty well.”
Baseball and hockey seem like a unique mix … they both take lots of skill and time.
“I agree. They are both sports that you have to start young at to be good. I probably started skating when I was 3 years old and tee-ball when I was 4 or 5.”
Did you ever get a point where you wanted to just focus on one?
“Actually, this past season I almost didn’t go out for hockey. I was thinking of going the junior college route for baseball – but I didn’t – and that would have taken a lot of time to get ready. I just didn’t want to give it up my senior year, but I think my days playing the sport are mainly done.”
What was it like playing for Coach Si in baseball?
“It was pretty demanding (smiling). You better make your plays otherwise you’ll hear about it. He’s won a lot of games over the years, so he expects a lot out of you.”
Can the Bay Port baseball team make some noise in the next two years?
“Without a doubt. If you look at it, Jake Berg, Call Verlanic and Brad Bernklau are all young and played on varsity this year. Throw in some of those JV guys and they will be really good. Even next year … pitchers Carter Highline and Jett Thielke will be seniors.”
Jake Berg gets hit in the face with a 90-mph fastball against Preble and you’re coming to the plate a few batters later against the same pitcher … what was that like?
“I wouldn’t say I was scared, but that was probably the most nervous I’ve been batting. There were runners at first and second and we had a chance to win the game … I ended up walking. Not too many guys throw 90 in high school from the left side. Ryan Stefiuk came up-and-in on me a few times that bat as well.”
How about a high-school sport you wish you would have done?
“If it hadn’t interfered with baseball and been in the fall instead, I would have loved to play lacrosse. I’ve picked up a stick here and there … it would have been fun. It’s physical like hockey.”
Do you have a most memorable sports moment?
“I hit a home run in the sectionals semis last year – that was the game after Jake Weber had his huge game in regionals. We lost the game, but it was still memorable.”
How about a most embarrassing one?
“In youth hockey when I was 14, I scored on my own goalie. I was trying to clear a puck on a penalty kill. At least we still won the game.”
What are some of your non-sports related hobbies?
“I like to duck hunt, going to the cabin, fishing and coaching. If playing doesn’t work out, I can see myself doing that.”
Talk about the recruiting process a bit.
“They saw me play in a showcase and were interested in me. I went and visited and it’s a really nice campus. They have a competitive team and the coaches are really good guys. Ellsworth Community College in Iowa and UW-Oshkosh were also options.”
What is something about you most people wouldn’t know?
“I actually live in the Pulaski School District, but have gone to Bay Port since my freshman year. My brother came to Bay Port, so I think that’s why I mainly decided to as well.”
Finish this sentence … On Sunday mornings you can usually find me …
“Eating breakfast or hitting in the cage … my mom is a really good cook and always makes a good breakfast.”
What will you miss most about Bay Port?
“Probably just seeing my buddies every day … the baseball guys are like a family to me.”
You graduated last Sunday with well over 400 other graduates … how many of those kids did you not know?
“Whoa … at least 100! It seems every day walking in the halls I’d see a kid I had never seen before.”
How will Bob Tilot be remembered at Bay Port?
“Hopefully as a hard-working kid that wouldn’t take days off.”
Puppies or kittens?
Summer or winter?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Lie on the beach or ski down the slopes?
“Lie on the beach.”
Treehouse or tiny house?
Athlete: Max Scherzer/Nolan Arenado
Food: pork loin
Phone app: Snapchat/Twitter
Notes: Suggestions for the senior spotlight can be submitted to Rich via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Twitter (@richpalzewic). All spotlights can be found online at thepress.media. Check out last week’s spotlight on Bay Port’s Bailey Cisar.