The lone ranger
BLHS sophomore Lucas Williamson adjusts to life as an underclassman on a senior-laden team
He is a little smaller than all his teammates, and one can probably guess he is younger.
However, the size and age of sophomore Lucas Williamson means little when he is on the baseball field.
Williamson is the starting second baseman for the Basehor-Linwood baseball team, and he feels right at home with the eight seniors that start with him.
"I've been around these guys for a long time," Williamson said. "They give me respect."
As he said that, senior Ross McCoy walked up to tease the sophomore second baseman about being interviewed and tell him he had chores to do.
"Well, they all respect me except Ross," he said turning his back to McCoy as the senior laughed at him.
After McCoy joked with him, Williamson admitted the seniors made sure he knew he was younger, but he said enjoyed playing on the senior laden team.
With the team winning and Williamson playing well, he does not really have to worry about senior pranks.
Most importantly, Williamson is playing well on defense.
"I am somebody that plays good defense," Williamson said. "I just try to play the perfect game, but I have a lot of work to do on defense. My offense is crappy. There is always room for improvement."
After 10 games, Williamson has a .923 fielding percentage, the statistic he is most concerned with. On offense, he is hitting .235 with five runs.
While he has earned the respect of his older teammates, his coaching staff is pleased with his performance this year. Assistant coach Ryan Higgins said his best asset was his range on defense.
"He's been great," said Basehor-Linwood head coach Curtis Press. "Coming into the year, we knew we had one hole to fill, and he's done a good job filling it. We couldn't ask for anything better. Last year as a freshman, we saw he had the ability to play consistently at this level, and he has come through so far this year."
Williamson's defense is what Press is most concerned about.
"He is out there for his defense," Press said. "He is all over the right side making plays. He's doing what he needs to fill his role. He had a challenge before him, and he stood up to it.
"We have seven great hitters," he said. "We are going to score runs. I don't expect him to put up huge numbers offensively. Whatever he does hitting is extra."
Basehor-Linwood does have plenty of hitting power, but Williamson better not grow too accustom to it. This season is half over, and next year all those bats will be gone.
Williamson has conquered the challenge of being a young role player. Next year, he will have to be a leader for an inexperienced team.
But for now he's enjoying his time on a team that has a shot to make some noise at state.
Williamson and the Bobcats will take the field again Thursday, April 24, when they host Mill Valley at Field of Dreams.
The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 4 p.m.