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Hastings takes the helm at Lynn



Mark Hastings has molded teams into playoff contenders into each of his previous coaching stops. Earlier this year, Hastings was named as head coach of the Lynn Bears, a program with a proud tradition and used to being in the postseason on a regular basis — attributes that fit-in well with Hastings mentality.

The early posting has aided Hastings in getting to know the members of his new team, who also coached many during a very successful season in baseball in the spring.

“It was beneficial to come in at an earlier time as I was able to do some housekeeping, work on inventory and most importantly, get to know some of the kids and my fellow coaches. Since we’ve started the spring and throughout the summer I feel like we’ve improved in a lot of areas,” Hastings said. “We’ve still got a little ways to go, we’ve got to be more physical and I think our intensity needs to pick up some. But we’re definitely moving in the right direction. I think another big advantage this year is that we have a jamboree on Friday in Week 1, which further helps us know what we’re going to battle with each game before we get into the schedule. It’s a real big help in a first year situation.”

Among the leaders Hastings expects to make big contributions to the Bears this season are Jackson Baker, Cale Tittle and Marcus Meeks — all of whom showed the new head coach the drive and energy to be front-runners both during baseball season and during the football preseason.

“The baseball season gave me a good look at attitudes and work ethic, which we saw come even more into the forefront during the offseason and summer — Jackson, Cale and Marcus haven’t disappointed throughout the spring and summer,” Hastings said. “When you’re in your first season with a new team, they’re the type of guys you look to and want to see lead other by example.”

Hastings knows plenty of challenges await in Class 1A, Region 6 as evidenced by how each one of the playoff teams performed in the postseason.

“All four playoff teams in our region made it at least to the third round, with Berry going to the semi-finals and Pickens County making it to the state championship game. There’s no weeks off in our region — there’s a battle every week,” Hastings said. “I fully expect we’re going to have to bring our best game to the field every week and learn a lot from each contest.”