Cavalier baseball gets new head coach

Published 7:41 pm Thursday, March 10, 2011

Randall Jones cuts at a pitch during Lakeland’s game against Bayside last spring. Jones started in the infield and outfield and pitched some for the Cavs last season as a sophomore. Lakeland opens its 2011 season by hosting Deep Creek Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Mark Pollick became Lakeland’s new head baseball coach late in the offseason. Pollick’s had only a few months to work with his squad ahead of what’s always a challenging campaign through the baseball-rich Southeastern District.

Even with a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it, the new Cavalier coach already has goals of the long-term variety for Lakeland baseball.

“I’m trying to give this program more stability and, with that, get more kids involved in the program than have been in the past,” Pollick said after one of his practices as the Cavaliers prepare for Tuesday and their season-opener against Deep Creek.

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Lakeland’s varsity team a year ago started out with 10 players. By the last few weeks of the season, the Cavs had to call up a couple JV players to keep nine on the field and even finished one game, actually a Lakeland win at King’s Fork, with seven healthy players plus a first baseman, Brandon Snook, playing with a cast on his broken hand.

The city rivalry win while down a man was the highlight of an otherwise tough season as Lakeland went 3-17 overall.

The Cavaliers already have some success in the numbers category as Pollick has 13 players on his varsity roster and 13 youngsters, mostly eighth- and ninth-graders, on Lakeland’s JV team.

Changing Lakeland’s record is starting with changing the team’s overall attitude, says Pollick, who’s coached many AAU and rec league teams around the area, most recently for a Suffolk Sluggers AAU club, but is a rookie with a high school squad.

“We’re trying to do that just through working hard. It has to be every day at practice, 100 percent of the time, and we’re stressing team baseball. We have to play as a team,” Pollick said.

Pollick made all the returning players, even the varsity returners, tryout again to make the team.

Three seniors, David Waterfield, Nathan Meeks and Lance Smith, won’t be around for much of Pollick’s lengthier goals, but they are strong leaders, says Pollick.

“They’re kids I can look to to make an example for the younger kids,” Pollick said.

Waterfield is Lakeland’s top pitcher and plays shortstop when not on the mound. Meeks is a pitcher/center fielder and Smith is a pitcher/second baseman.

“I personally preach about defense,” Pollick said. “To win games we’ll have to play good, solid defense and we work hard at that at practice.”

Lakeland baseball 2011 schedule

Games start at 5:30 p.m. unless noted, home games are in CAPS



Fri. 18 at Grassfield

Tues. 22 at King’s Fork

Wed. 23 at Churchland (4 p.m.)


Tues. 29 at Oscar Smith


  • Fri. 1 at Indian River
  • Tues. 5 GREAT BRIDGE
  • Fri. 8 HICKORY
  • Tues. 12 at Nansemond River
  • Wed. 13 DENBIGH (6 p.m.)
  • Fri. 15 at Deep Creek
  • Tues. 26 GRASSFIELD
  • Fri. 29 KING’S FORK


  • Tues. 3 at Western Branch
  • Fri. 6 OSCAR SMITH
  • Tues. 10 INDIAN RIVER
  • Fri. 13 at Great Bridge
  • Mon. 16 at Hickory