It’s been 15 years since the Lancers won a 6A Kansas Championship, and new head coach Jerrod Ryherd is determined to get the baseball program back to its winning ways.
After a two year tenure at Shawnee Mission East , Ryherd became the varsity assistant at Shawnee Mission South in 2005 where he stayed for five years before returning to East after the resignation of head coach Tim Jarrell. Last year, the South Raiders varsity team went 15-6, and the team also defeated the Lancers in two games, one of which was on the Kansas City Royals’ home turf, Kaufman Stadium. Ryherd hopes to bring his success with him as he makes the transition from 107th street to 75th and Mission.
“Every day we want to get better,” Ryherd said. “Every practice, every game.”
There is one downside to the program according to Ryherd, his day job as a teacher at Brookridge Elementary. ”It’s tough to get to know guys off the field since I’m not in the same building as them all day.” Ryherd said.
In his short time with the team, Ryherd has already found that the Lancers’ defense is their strong suit, and with only three games under their belt, the bats are beginning to come alive. The combination of the two have propelled the Lancers to a 2-1 record to start the season.
Senior pitcher Zach Amrein has had a hot hand thus far in the season with a 2-0 record including a complete game on March 31 against Olathe East.
“I feel like the team has really good chemistry,” says Amrein. ”We haven’t reached our full potential yet, but I think we will come together and play our best by the state tournament.
Coach Ryherd has never had a losing season at the sub-varsity position, which is rare among active coaches in the area.