For 35 years Jerry Chase has been a part of the Western Hills football program, so it was no surprise to see him in the WHHS press box Friday night.
Even if it was his 50th wedding anniversary.
Chase and his wife, Betty, spent their milestone anniversary in the press box while Jerry kept the clock in the Wolverines’ game with Franklin County.
He’s beginning his 25th season at the job after spending 10 years as WHHS’ statistician.
“I look forward to being around football,” Chase said about his longevity with the program. “I played for Bellevue, which has a good reputation for football, but I was big and slow.
“I knew how the game was supposed to be played. I just didn’t play very well.”
Chase taught at WHHS for 17 years, from the school’s opening in 1980 until retiring in 1997. He spent another eight years teaching at The Frankfort Christian Academy.
The Chases’ three children — sons Tim, Brad and Will — played football at Bondurant but not at Western Hills.
“They were all band people,” Chase said.
The Chase family, including children and grandchildren — 13 people in all — got together last weekend in Gatlinburg, Tenn., to celebrate Jerry and Betty’s anniversary.
They looked into going this weekend but couldn’t find a place with a vacancy, and that kept Jerry from missing Friday’s game. He estimates he’s missed two or three in the last 25 years.
The Western Hills football booster club had a cake for the Chases in the press box, and the couple had a small celebration earlier in the day.
“We went out today for a movie and lunch,” Jerry said Friday.
“We have a weekly movie day,” Betty said, “and we postponed it from Tuesday to today.
“I’m only here because the sun is shining,” she added, saying she’d had her hair done earlier in the day. “He (Jerry) really wanted me to come tonight.
“Every year he asks if I’m going to go to the games. I’m not sure if that’s a stipulation of him doing it or not.”
The biggest obstacle to serving as clock keeper may be the number of steps to the Western Hill press box.
“As long as I can climb the steps,” Chase said when asked how long he plans to continue working the clock.
“When I can’t make it up the steps, I’ll quit doing it.”