More than a manager

2 weeks 3 days 37 minutes ago Tuesday, May 08 2018 May 8, 2018 Tuesday, May 08, 2018 8:50:05 PM CDT May 08, 2018 in Sports
By: Matt Weller and Matt Vereen, KOMU 8 Sports

COLUMBIA – It’s 2 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon. Mizzou softball players are making their way into the team’s new stadium for practice. They line up down the left field for team stretches while chatting about this weekend’s opponent, nationally ranked Auburn and after a pep talk from Head Coach Gina Fogue, the team takes the field for practice.

But for team manager Jonathan Lynch, practice began a long time ago.

Lynch is one of the team’s three managers, responsible for a laundry list of things. He gets to the field before any of the players, sweeps the infield, puts the balls out, and sets up the batting cages.

“It’s crazy how much the managers do for us,” said junior outfielder Regan Nash. “They may be setting up the field or throwing batting practices but they’re always doing something.”

It’s a long day full of hard work, but his effort is anything but unnoticed.

“I want people to know exactly what they mean to us,” Nash said. “Jon [and the other managers] are amazing every single day.“

But Lynch thinks it’s the team that makes his job easier.

“We’re a really tight knit group. This is a great group of young women and I’m just thankful to be around them every day,” he said. “I wish this was a class, I’d take it 24/7.”

Lynch’s daily routine goes long past preparation work, though. A life-long passionate fan of both baseball and softball, Lynch serves as an extra pair of eyes for both the players and coaches. And with four years of experience with the team, he know what he’s looking for.

“He knows so much about the game,” Nash said. “If you just sit down and listen to him talk for five minutes, you’ll learn something new about softball.”

Lynch uses that expertise to help the players and coaches watch film, hoping to find any small detail that can give the Tigers an advantage against a future opponent.

“The amount of film work he does is insane,” Nash said.

“I just try to watch as much film as possible and then imitate that for them in practice,” Lynch said. “That way if we’re facing a girl that’s throwing predominantly rise balls, I try to imitate her windup as close as possible so it looks familiar for our girls in the game.”

Nash said Lynch’s replication work has made a big difference for the Mizzou offense in a few games this season already.

“We were facing Georgia and their pitcher Kylie Bass, and she’s left handed and so is Jon. And while throwing us batting practice, Jon was mimicking her rise ball and throwing it at the exact same speed she would throw it. 

Mizzou scored four runs against Bass, including two home runs, the most she’s given up all season.

“We did really well against her and Jon had a big part in that,” Nash said.

“It could be the smallest thing that contributes,” Lynch said. “It’s one of those things where you never know, so you try to pick out any little thing that can help us be prepared and ready [to play].”

Lynch is also used as a left-handed batter when the team practices situational fielding every day. He’s tasked with giving them difficult plays that challenge the defenders to make quick decisions. Sometimes, he’ll crush the ball into the gaps between outfielders, forcing the team to relay the ball quickly. Other times, he’ll drop a bunt down the third baseline to simulate a sudden play at first base.

For Lynch, he hopes this is the first step in a long coaching career.

“It’s been a growing thing for me over the last few years. I’d like to find a coaching job somewhere and see where I can take it,” he said 

And there’s already one player who would want to play for him.

“I’d love to have Jon as a coach,” Nash said. “He’s a great person, first off,. Plus, he knows so much about the game and he’s great at explaining it, too.”

Lynch said it’s just the way he gives back to the sport he loves.

“I honestly wish I could go out there and play around with them,” he said. “I love being able to help as a manager and hopefully as a coach some day. My passion definitely drives it that much more over the top for me.”

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the Independence School District on behalf of a senior... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 6:35:52 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD – Locals living in this town of about 700 people are concerned after abruptly hearing about a special... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:47:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Thornbrook neighborhood was without water and electricity for almost two hours on Friday. Columbia Water and... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:36:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Four vehicle crashes have occurred this week along State Road F west of Fulton in Callaway County.... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 4:12:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After serving eight years in the United States Air Force, the passion of this veteran for sky travel... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Organizers are expecting a large turnout for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans" airshow on Memorial Day weekend. ... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- When most people lose an animal, one of the first steps is to put a "missing" sign on a... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:46:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Aircraft and pilots met at Columbia Regional Airport Friday to prepare for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans"... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:45:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A high-speed car chase ended Sunday when the suspect slid into a ditch, according to a press release... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- It's no secret more cars will out for Memorial Day weekend, but many drivers are taking precautions before... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than five hundred Missourians have lost their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department of... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 1:48:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old western Missouri boy fought off an attempted abduction by hitting the... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an early morning crash on I-70 Westbound. It caused major backups... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:47:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday, the Columbia Airport Advisory Board announced the TSA approved a security screening lane to open by... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:41:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- May is known for Mother’s day, Memorial Day and in Missouri, the start of tick season. “May, June... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council discussed a recent engineering study today centering on increasing traffic flow east of Columbia.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:11:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is encouraging people to practice safe boating ahead of Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:55:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
10pm 74°
11pm 73°
12am 71°
1am 70°