MattE Diaz leads the LCS Baseball Team to a 3A State Playoff
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Lakeland Christian SchoolOne of the core values of LCS is the belief that we are partnering with parents in the Christian education of their children. We believe that mutual respect, communication and involvement by all partners is essential for success of our mission.LCS is a school. We believe that being a Christian school and being a top-flight academic institution should not be mutually exclusive. On the contrary, we take the mandate of Colossians 3:23 that calls us to strive to be the best. We provide a variety of rigorous, engaging, academic and co-curricular activities that enable students to identify and express the full range of their unique gifts and abilities.
Fox 13 reporter Jeff Tewksbury writes an article:
“LAKELAND, Fla. – Matt Diaz was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1999. The then-Devil Ray joined a draft class including Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, Doug Waechter, and Seth McClung. The outfielder from Florida State went on to play 11 years in the bigs; his best years came with the Atlanta Braves.
Turns out the former player is a pretty darn good head coach. The Lakeland Christian School Vikings are 25-1, nationally ranked, and in the 3A state tournament.
Diaz is in his second season as head coach. The Vikings won the state crown in 2019 with Blane Fox as head coach.
Matt Diaz has a keen sense of humor. He jokes with his players as FOX 13 records that he is going to “fake coach.”
Diaz also has a strong sense of purpose.
“Getting to coach at Lakeland Christian School is a huge bonus for me as a Christian,” Diaz says. “I get to openly share my faith with these kids, we get to share our struggles.”
Diaz shares the coaching duties with pitching coach Michael Byrd, who played collegiately at Vanderbilt before a brief stint in the minors. Together, Diaz and Byrd impart lessons that go beyond the diamond.
“Definitely. More of a learning process of the game.” says senior pitcher Sawyer Toney. “More than just baseball. It’s been making us all better men off the field. More of a mentorship.”
Senior Ty Evans says he will appreciate his time at Lakeland Christian well after his playing days are through.
“You don’t ever know if you’re ever going to get a team like this again,” Evans says. “It’s a brotherhood here. We all play really well together. It’s a great group of guys.”