New coaching staff brings new life to baseball program


Photo by Mychal Lanik

The Lincoln East baseball team poses for a group photo after a workout one afternoon, big expectations are in place after the hiring of new head coach Mychal Lanik.

Baseball season is on the brink, and there is a lot of excitement surrounding the season as the Spartans welcome a brand new head coach. Mychal Lanik has agreed to take the reigns of the Lincoln East baseball program after former coach Scott Standish stepped down this fall. Standish had been the head coach since 2014. The Spartans finished last year with a measly 6-18 record, but they are eager to change that this year with aspirations of state looming. “For me, there really isn’t a shortcut or simple answer. You just have to work and work and work and be prepared. If you do the little things right over and over, winning will take care of itself,” said coach Lanik. Our guys have done so many good things in the last two months, but there is still room for us to grow, individually and as a team, if we want to turn this thing around.” Turning a season around will be difficult for a first-year coach, especially after coming off a season winning only one-fourth of games played.

But the team is working tirelessly to change that. “The most obvious change is that we are grinding as a team. I think a lot of our kids have a pretty sour taste in their mouths about last season and want to get this thing right. East High is having a lot of athletic success right now and we want to be a part of that.” The Spartans certainly seem to be grinding the sour taste of the past away. With all the hard work of the team, coach Lanik felt obliged to mention the best thing he’s done for the team. “As far as grooming that into winning baseball—the best thing I’ve done personally is hire really good and talented assistant coaches and set really high expectations for our players both on and off of the field. Our assistants and lower level coaches are top notch and the relationships they are already building are proof of that.” Although, with all the excitement surrounding the new coaching staff, and all of the hard work being put in, that means nothing if the team doesn’t go out and execute on the field.

Coach Lanik couldn’t help but emphasize the mentality they are bringing into the season. “As a program- we want to spend zero time worrying about things we can’t control like the umpires calls or if the defensive makes a great play and instead—spend our focus on being the best at things that require no talent, like hustling, being mentally tough, being a good teammate, playing as hard as you can every single moment.” If East is able to persevere and play with this mindset, then they should be able to watch all of their hard work turn into great things out on the diamond, and so far that seems to be the case. Many of the ballplayers are looking to further their talents at a collegiate level in the following years, and they are helping to build a mindset of determination into the younger players who have similar aspirations. When asked about the special culture around Lincoln East baseball, Lanik stated,“Our senior group has been really good in workouts- you can tell there is some unfinished business in the way they are handling themselves. Guys like Carson Kasl, Jeremiah Zimmerman, Grant Deisley, and so many others are bringing it energy wise for us right now which is great. The cool thing we have going on right now, is that our younger kids are right on their tail as far as talent and work ethic are concerned. They are pushing each other because they all want this program to be special.” Coach Lanik, and all of his assistants alongside him are fully dedicated to the task at hand of turning this program into a winning tradition.

Coach Lanik, and all of his assistants alongside him are fully dedicated to the task at hand of turning this program into a winning tradition. Exclaiming “I feel very strongly that our players will get the most hands-on, dedicated coaching staff in the State helping them every step of the way. We will build great relationships, have awareness of hinge moments in games, and make baseball and competing really fun every day.” Promising they will be the most involved coaches in the state. Whether a new coaching staff, loads of hard work, and high expectations transfer to the field or not, as his team heads into a fresh start, and exciting new season, the first thing Mychal Lanik explained to the team about the season was simple, “I told our players at our first team meeting that this is their team and they will set the tone for what we want to accomplish and what we want to be.” The beginning of a new culture surrounding baseball is in the hands of the players themselves.