Lakeside High School is welcoming back a familiar face.
At the Columbia County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, former Lakeside head baseball coach T.J. Davis was approved as a language arts teacher and he will once again lead the Panthers’ program. The position became available the final week of the 2013-14 school year when former head coach Brad Freeman resigned.
“T.J. was hands down the best candidate for the baseball job during the interview process,” Lakeside athletic director Jody Hilley said. “He’s been there before and he’s been successful before.”
Davis was the Panthers coach in 2009 and 2010, going a combined 53-15-1 while taking them to the Class AAAA state quarterfinals and finals, respectively. The Panthers were 7-10 in 2011 when Davis suddenly resigned. He remained at the school teaching special education until last year when he was an English/language arts teacher and football assistant coach at Greenbrier.
While glad for the chance and hoping for a positive reaction to his return, Davis is not exactly sure what to expect.
“I’m sure there’s going to be some mixed feelings,” he said. “I’m sure they’re going to be some questions about what happened before and why. … It’s in the past thing, let’s push forward and move on. I hope it’s as nice to go home again as everybody says it is.”
He plans to be out on the field with the Panthers today as they continue with their summer session which stirs a number of emotions.
“I’m excited to be back,” Davis said. “I’m ready to jump back in. A little nervous, a little anxious, too. Kind of both because you’re ready to go back and do it again, but it’s never going to be the same way again, which in most cases is a good thing.
“You get older, you get more mature, things change. I think it will be a different situation but it’s not going to be a bad issue, it’s going to be a good thing and fun.”