LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – On Monday our 6 Sports Two-A-Days coverage took us to Lansing Catholic and Williamston high school. Our first stop of the day was over to Lansing Catholic who are preparing to start their season with a new head coach, Jim Baker. Coach Baker has spent the past 28 years as the Cougars’ offensive line coach and has known nearly all of the players on his team since they first started playing football.
Baker has coached two of his three sons throughout their years at Lansing Catholic and now he get the opportunity to be the head coach while his youngest son Joey Baker, is the starting quarterback. So we had to know, does Coach Basker take off his coaching hat and put on his dad hat at home?
“No…there’s one hat only and that’s coach hat,” said Joey. “There’s no special treatment whatsoever, maybe a little like intensity for me but I’ve been used to it my whole life.”
We then told dad, Coach Baker, that his son only sees the coach hat and he used to it.
“The greatest thing is my wife wears the same hat so he doesn’t get any sympathy from anybody,” said Coach Baker. “I mean we’re consistent, we tell all of our kids that you know I got expectation and you gotta meet expectations and if you don’t do what we want you to do there’s always consequences. I take that same philosophy with my kids as I do on the field.”
When it comes to those expectations that Coach Baker has he wanted to make it clear, the Cougars will not be resting on their laurels.
“You know we all have something to prove,” said Baker. “I mean you know two years ago we won a state championship but that really wasn’t this grade’s class. I mean four of them have rings from playing in it. I have a ring from it but it’s always something about is it my ring or is it the program’s ring? So we have a lot to prove.”
The team the Cougars are going to face in week two on the road on September 3rd is the Williamston Hornets. The Hornets are coming off a 2020 season that saw them get all the way to the state semifinal but with a huge change in personnel this year, the Hornets will look to fill the shoes of 6’4” 220-pound tight end Cade Conley who is now a freshman at Central Michigan University.
So we wanted to know how head coach Steve Kersten and his Hornets plan to fill the shoes of those who graduated last year.
“The seniors last year were incredible not only as players as people but really their leadership was outstanding so we’re challenging this group of seniors now to have that same kind of leadership,” said Kersten. “Obviously, talent is different each year but we feel like we have some guys that are ready to step up in those shoes and play those parts and play those roles.”
“Just gotta listen to coach’s gameplan he comes every week with a great gameplan we gotta stick to it and make sure we’re doing our jobs every single one of us,” said Jackson Newman, Williamston senior wide receiver and defensive back.
While some may look at Williamston as a country club football team we had to ask Coach Kersten and his guys what they think of that persona.
“I think definitely in our league that we might have some coaches from other schools saying Williamston’s that country club school but are kids wanna hit we have some defensive guys back basically our linebacking crew four guys coming back that will lay some leather,” said Kersten.
“We’re gonna be hard-nosed and we’re just gonna hit kids like we’re just gonna go like we just we’re ready to go,” said Zach Painter, Williamston’s senior linebacker.