Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 10, 2014

Lewis goes with Jack of all trades

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

VANCEBURG — Jack Lykins is a man with many hats.

Already the high school principal, the 40-year-old is set to next don the Lewis County blue baseball cap.

The school hired Lykins to the head coaching position on Friday.

"Baseball is the greatest game," Lykins said. "I was interested in the position not only because of my love for the game but because these student-athletes are a great group to work with."

Lewis County experienced back-to-back remarkable seasons under its previous coach, Keith Prater. Prater guided the Lions to a 52-17 total record, a 63rd District title and one 16th Region Tournament semifinal appearance over the last two years.

Prater resigned last August for family reasons, taking a teaching position at Rowan County.

Lykins is well aware of the Lions' past success on the diamond.

"Our expectation is to carry on and build upon the tradition that has been established by the players and coaches who preceded us," he said. "We have a great group of returning players. Not only are they talented but they are also a great group of kids, in general."

Among those is ace pitcher Sammy Holder, a right-hander who recently signed with Kentucky Wesleyan College.

The team graduated five off the 27-11 squad in 2013. All were regular contributors.

Lykins's latest undertaking is his first varsity baseball head coaching job. He does, however, have an extensive sports background.

Lykins spent several years as a coach and umpire for Lewis County Little League. He was also an assistant middle school baseball coach along with being the assistant principal at Scott County.

He coached seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade boys basketball at Lewis County. He also spent time as the junior varsity girls coach and assistant to former girls basketball coach Kevin Lewis.

Lykins began playing baseball at age 3 and fell in love with the sport instantly, he said. He played through his senior year at Lewis County High School.

Lykins said he's excited to take on another important role at Lewis County. Serving as both an administrator and coach while at Scott County will help, he said.

Lykins has worked in the Lewis County school system for the last 13 years and has served as high school principal for the past two.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.