By Kyle Daubs

Ty Coartney wanted to play college baseball and Lake Land wanted him. It was a perfect match from the start. 

The Charleston High School senior officially signed his letter of intent to play for Lake Land College. Despite missing out on his junior season due to the pandemic, Courtney played enough games in the summer to gain the attention of Lake Land coach Julio Godinez. 

It didn’t take long for Godinez to reach out and make an offer. 

“Coach Godinez contacted me and told me that he was going to be working a showcase later in the week and he wanted to see me work out,” said Coartney. “After the showcase, he told me that he liked what he saw in me and was surprised that I ran as well as I did. He told me that he wanted me to visit the campus soon and that he would give me a call. A couple of weeks later, we finally settled on a campus visit date and he offered me right away.”

Now that his future is set for after high school, Coartney can relax. 

“Mostly, relieved,” said Coartney. “This has been a tough year for juniors and seniors that play sports. Not being able to play this spring was tough, but I was fortunate enough to be able to play a lot of games this summer. Unfortunately, because of Covid it wasn’t alway easy, or even possible, for college coaches to watch us play. This summer and fall it was tough to have a great weekend playing baseball and there weren’t any coaches to see it.”

Coartney didn’t wait around for other offers because he felt that Lake Land was the best fit. He plans to major in Agriculture Business, which Lake Land offers.

“Lakeland is where I always wanted to go,” said Coartney. “I feel like Coach Godinez can make me a better baseball player. When I was on my visit, he really pushed how hard his players work. They have a pretty intense workout regimen and that is what I am looking forward to. I need to get stronger and faster, and I feel like Coach Godinez will put me on the best path to do that.”

Former CHS teammates Caleb Hurst, Wes Harrell and Lane Harrell also spoke highly about the program.

Said Coartney: “They all talked about their experiences and coaching style at Lake Land and it really made me even more comfortable with my decision. Lake Land was my first and only offer, but I knew right away that I didn’t need to wait for another one.”

Coartney can play all outfield positions. 

“I am extremely happy for Ty,” said CHS baseball coach Derrick Landrus. “I’ve coached him for a long time when we include travel ball as he grew up.  He made some huge strides between then and now. Ty has become a lot faster, stronger and more athletic over the past couple of years. I think he was ready for a big season when we cancelled last year.  He has really improved in the outfield so I think the sky’s the limit for him at Lake Land.”

Coartney cited a community that helped him get to this point. He thanks his parents for “always supporting me by giving me the opportunity to play travel baseball and watching and cheering me on while I play the game I love.”

Coartney also cited many coaches in the Charleston community that helped him along the way, such as Charleston Middle School baseball coach Jon Hanner, who led CMS to back-to-back state appearances, including a state runner-up finish.

Coartney said JV coach and Charleston American Legion manager Jim Miller “believed in my abilities more than any coach I have ever had.” 

And Coartney thanks Landrus for years of coaching him in travel ball, high school, and for teaching all the basics. He also thanks the football coaches, including Jerry Payne for making him “stronger, faster, a better athlete, and a better person.”

“Finally, I would like to thank all of my teammates that I have had throughout the years,” said Coartney. “I was very lucky to have extremely talented players to play with and because of them I always pushed myself harder to be better. At Lake Land, I’m going to go there and try and be the best teammate I can be. In terms of the field, I am going to go out and work hard every day and do my best and hopefully contend for a starting position. My plan is to do my best there for the team and then continue on to the next level.”