MANDEVILLE, La. — This time last year, the Lakeshore Titans baseball program was competing for a legion baseball championship after their regular season was cancelled because of COVID-19.
In January, Head Coach Steve Ceravolo announced his retirement from coaching.
Two days before the 2020 season started, Lakeshore hired Rowland Skinner to be its next head baseball coach.
“Lakeshore has been one of the top programs not only on this side of the lake but the whole metro area. We played Lakeshore a few times when I was coaching at other places and I just liked the way they played, the scrappiness, how hard they played, and the culture here really was a big attraction,” says Skinner.
Skinner is now in his 18th season as a head coach and has seen stops at Northlake Christian, Mandeville, Fontainebleau, and De La Salle.
It’s been a year of firsts, even for him, coaching during a natural disaster years ago and now a pandemic.
“I was a head coach during Hurricane Katrina, and I thought that would be one of the most unusual things I experienced when you had families leaving and you didn’t know if they were going to come back or not, but this brought its own set of issues. We’ve had a couple of kids quarantine at the beginning of the year and it’s just different,” says Skinner.
Despite many challenges the Titans baseball program has stayed true to form.
They finished the regular season with a 17-11 record, drawing the 5 seed in this year’s Class 4A playoff field.
The Titans defeated Ellender in the opening round of playoffs and Assumption last week in Regionals.
“I think that we just grow every day at practice. We speak on being a family a lot and I think that we have really grown on that since the beginning of the year, playing with each other, having each other’s backs, things like that is what I think is going to get us as far as we can go,” says Lakeshore Senior Devin Weilbaecher.
” For our school, we really want to represent, especially for last year’s team we had the chance and then this year with a new coach, he’s showed us really how to become a family and that’s how we were the past couple of years. Our run right know has really shown what we have been practicing the past couple of years,” says Lakeshore Senior Everett Cogan.
The Titans are preparing to travel to North Louisiana where they will play Neville in the Quarterfinal round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Their 3-game series kicks off Friday at 6 p.m.
For the full schedule and bracket, click here.