MOC Lancaster men working together
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 9, 2012 1:48 PM
Teams often go through stretches where the disconnect between the coaching staff and the players causes problems.
Coaches do not understand the workload that the players have to manage. Players do not understand that the coaches' decisions are in the best interest of the team.
Mount Olive College head coach Carl Lancaster does not have to worry about any sort of communication breakdown. Lancaster has a familiar voice at every level of the program in 2012 with eldest son Jesse back in the fold as an assistant coach and youngest son Nolan as a pitcher in the Trojan bullpen.
"It's exciting as a father to come out here every day and see the two working together," Carl Lancaster said. "Every dad wants to see his children succeed and it's rare to be in a position where you get to witness it first-hand."
Jesse Lancaster joined Carl in 2004 after a successful high school career. He played in the outfield and pitched at Mount Olive, and was the first one to congratulate his dad when the Trojans won the 2008 Division II College World Series crown in Sauget, Ill.
After the conclusion of his playing career, Jesse graduated from Mount Olive in 2010 and took a job as a volunteer assistant coach and camp coordinator at East Carolina University. Last year, the ECU athletic department eliminated that position.
Lancaster returned Mount Olive.
"It was only one season, but I think Jesse really learned a lot at East Carolina," Carl Lancaster said. "It helped him understand the work that goes on behind the scenes as far as the camps and things, and those skills he picked up can definitely benefit us here."
At Mount Olive, Jesse Lancaster is in charge of the outfielders and works alongside Rob Watt on the team's offensive approach. Never one to turn down a chance to help the team, Jesse is always ready to answer any questions that his younger brother may bring up.
"Those two have two very different personalities," Carl Lancaster said. "In the past I think that Nolan would have turned his shoulder a little bit if Jesse tried to help him, but now I see the two of them talking all the time, and I see Nolan listening and using the advice Jesse offers him."
Nolan completed a successful high school career at Eastern Wayne in 2010 and joined his father at Mount Olive the following fall. After two years without much playing time, Nolan has blossomed into a productive pitcher for the Trojans.
So far in 2012, Nolan has made three appearances out of the bullpen and compiled a 1-0 record.
"Nolan has definitely grown up a lot since he first stepped on the field for us," Carl Lancaster said. "I think it was tough for him at first because he didn't really have a niche, but now he sees how he is going to help this team and what it is going to take to make a bigger contribution."
As Mount Olive moves forward with regular-season play, all three Lancasters will undoubtedly play critical roles in the team's improvement.
"Every day that I get to come out here and see the boys is a blessing," Carl Lancaster said. "I think we have a great group of players and coaches here at Mount Olive, and the fact that two of them are my boys makes it that much more fun."