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Lancaster High School has tabbed one of its own to fill the baseball post.
Paul Crenshaw, a former LHS baseball assistant and a member of the LHS faculty, is the Bruins’ new coach.
Crenshaw, 46, replaces Brett Blackmon, who resigned in May following the Bruins’ season.
“We appreciate the job coach Blackmon did,” LHS athletic director Mark Strickland said. “Coach Blackmon indicated to me he wanted to spend more time with his family.”
Blackmon guided the Bruins for five seasons and led LHS to Class AAAA postseason berths the last three years. He capped his final season at LHS, coaching in the annual Carolinas Select All-Star game in Charlotte.
Blackmon, a Lancaster native, will continue to teach and coach at A.R. Rucker Middle School where he is a physical education instructor and serves as the Rams’ athletic director and football coach.
Crenshaw said he’s honored to lead the Bruins’ baseball program.
“You look at the list of coaches and it’s outstanding,” Crenshaw said. “The list is short, but it’s a group of outstanding coaches.”
Strickland said he feels Crenshaw will follow in the same mold.
“Paul will do an excellent job,” Strickland said. “We not only have a quality baseball coach, but an outstanding individual. Paul is well-respected in the community and the baseball community.
“The main draw is the person Paul is and the fact he will do it right,” Strickland said. “He has the best interest of the players and he knows the tradition of Lancaster High baseball. He will get the numbers out and teach them the right way.”
Crenshaw served as a Bruins’ baseball assistant under former coach Steve Williams, working with the program from 1995-1997. In his final two seasons, Crenshaw guided the LHS junior varsity team.
In addition, Crenshaw’s son, Jonah, played baseball at LHS where he graduated in 2012.
Crenshaw, who teaches drafting – architectural and mechanical design – at the LHS Career Center, has 22 years teaching experience, including the last 20 at Lancaster High.
Crenshaw said several factors attracted him to the job.
“We have good facilities, community support and support from the faculty and administration,” Crenshaw said. “We’re going to live up to our nickname, the ‘Battlin’ Bruins,’ and give 110 percent, work hard and scratch for every run.
“The key is to be fundamentally sound and respect the game,” he said. “We are going to be prepared as we can be each and every night.”
Crenshaw’s first squad will be young with its share of underclassmen after the departure of a senior team last spring.
“It will be a new beginning, a chance for underclassmen to step up and fill holes,” Crenshaw said. “The region championship and the playoffs will be our team goals. We have a streak of three straight playoff seasons and we want to build on that and keep it going.
“My personal goal is to help develop student-athletes and mold them into strong young men. If we do that, I feel the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”