2015 will mark the third consecutive year that Lakeside High School will have a different head baseball coach.
Jay Matthews was the head coach for the 2013 season as the Panthers won the Region 2-AAAAA title and advanced to the state tournament. Matthews resigned shortly after the team’s season reached its conclusion.
Brad Freeman took over as head man in June 2013 and the Panthers finished 11-16 in 2014, advancing to the state tournament once more.
During the final week of the school year, Freeman tendered his resignation leaving the position vacant yet again.
Jody Hilley took over recently as athletic director for the departed Jarrett Troxler, who took the football coaching job at Greenbrier, and doesn’t have a specific timetable, but was hoping to start interviewing candidates for the coaching position on Monday or Tuesday.
I would think there would be a flood of resumes headed to Lakeside. They have been a talented team and play in one of the most competitive counties in the state. Most of the losses suffered by the Panthers last year–and by other teams in the county for that matter–came from head-to head meetings.
Hilley wished his departing coach well.
“I support his decision and he feels good about it and we’re going to hate losing him because I know what kind of person he is,” said Hilley. “He just felt like it was going to be the best move for him at this time. It was a shock, maybe because of the timing more so than anything else.”
Much like at Greenbrier last summer when the assistant coaches kept the program running–and flourishing–when they looked to fill their void at the top, Hilley has faith that the same thing can happen at Lakeside while the search goes on.
While he wants the process to resolve quickly, there is another more important consideration.
“The biggest thing is we get the right fit for the job,” Hilley said.
In the Mix
The NCAA Division I double-elimination baseball regionals started on Friday.
Before I get to the local connection, there’s a place that must be freezing over because for the first time since 1971, the Maryland Terrapins advanced to the postseason. In a baseball-rich Atlantic Coast Conference, the Terps (36-21) finished as runners-up in the conference tournament to Georgia Tech and were slated to face Old Dominion in the Columbia (S.C.) Regional.
OK-enough Yankee talk.
Representing the county in the regional round will be two players on the Georgia Southern University team which is participating in the Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional and one on the College of Charleston squad in the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional.
On the Eagles are senior infielder Ben Morgan who attended Greenbrier and former Harlem pitcher Josh Wirsu, a junior who transferred from Gordon State College where he helped lead the team to a Junior College World Series appearance as a freshman. In 2014, Wirsu leads the Eagles with a 9-3 record pitching to a 2.33 earned-run-average while Morgan posted strong offensive numbers across the board.
For the College of Charleston, former Greenbrier hurler Blake Ross is finishing up his senior season with the Cougars, making his second postseason appearance.