Highland baseball coach DJ Gore sets program record for wins

by Marc Narducci | Apr 18, 2022
Highland baseball coach DJ Gore sets program record for wins

Sometimes keeping track of high school sports records is a difficult task. That was the case when DJ Gore became the all-time winningest baseball coach at Highland with an opening day 13-4 win over Cumberland. The only thing that spoiled the moment is that nobody realized it was being accomplished.

“I knew it was close and I didn’t have an idea it was that close,” Gorce said.

Gore was told about a week and a half later that he indeed did set the school record of 262 wins, passing Tom Donahue.

His reaction?
“I have been a benefactor of having great kids, a great town and a supportive, wonderful administration,” Gore said.

He is also able to appreciate the history of Highland baseball since he has been part of it for a long time.

Gore is a 1994 graduate of Highland, where he played baseball and was a member of three state championship wrestling teams.

He was a freshman/JV coach at Highland beginning in 1998, left for a year for Washington Township and returned to Highland.

He became the varsity coach in the 2001-2002 season and has been there ever since. This is his 21st season with the Tartans.

It is a program that is usually competitive while playing a challenging schedule.

Gore’s first season as head coach was Highland’s final year in the Olympic Conference.

The Tartans then moved to the Tri-County Conference, where they remain today.

The highlight during his tenure was the 2017 season when Highland captured the South Jersey Group 3 championship.

The Tartans beat fellow Tri-County Conference team, Deptford, 6-4 in the South Jersey Group 3 final.

Dylan Maria was the hitting star, going 1 for 3 with a home run and three RBI.

Highland went 19-7 overall and won the competitive Tri-County Conference Royal Division with a 9-3 record, edging Clearview, which was 8-4.

“That group was together four years and the year before in ‘16 we got beat in the finals,” Gore recalled, alluding to a 5-0 loss to Ocean City in the South Jersey Group 3 championship. “We turned over the roster and brought back four players off that (2016) team and it was impressive to get to the final and be able to win. It was the culmination of a four-year run with a great group of kids.”

Highland has enjoyed plenty of other successful seasons.

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Take last year for instance. The Tartans were 14-6 overall and tied Delsea for the Tri-County Liberty Division title with a 6-2 mark.

This year Highland won its first four games and is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina playing games this week.

The Tartans appear to be a viable contender in a long list of them this season in SJ Group 3 and the program and their record-breaking coach are showing no signs of slowing down.
 


Author: Marc Narducci

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