Century Baseball Enters Season with New Coach

Posted at: 03/29/2014 10:44 PM
By: Kate Constable

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A new season is bringing a new coach for the Century Panthers baseball team.  But the goal remains the same.

"We had a great coach by coach Kangas, but Coach Bickle brings a new level," said senior Ryan Goll.

"I really like his coaching style and I think we're going to learn a lot this year," said Jordan Jasik.

Century's new head coach, J.D. Bickle, isn't new to the game of baseball. He played college ball at Wheaton and has years of coaching experience.  

"Coach Kangas did a lot for the sport of baseball and he's a legend," said current head coach J.D Bickle.

Until now Kangas was the Panther's only head coach. He helped them win a state championship and led them to four big 9 titles.

"It's a privilege to follow a great coach like that and we're going to build upon the foundation that he built," said Bickle.

And while Bickle is filling the biggest shoes Century has seen, he says the pressure to perform isn't at the forefront of his mind.

"Obviously you want to win but that's not our main purpose. Our main purpose is to do our best and shape young lives," said Bickle.

Having been a player himself, Bickle adopted this philosophy from coaches who had a positive influence on him as a player.

"I've had a lot of great coaches that have impacted me and if I can take some of those lessons and transfer them to these young men then we've been successful," said Bickle.

And even though the team's first game isn't for a few more weeks, the guys have already begun buying into their new coach.  

"I think we can pick up right where we left off last year and I think we're going to have a good season," said Jasik.

"He brings a fun attitude to the game. He wants us to be motivated, he wants us to do well," said Goll.