by Wes Benyshek
Spring is here and track is mid-season, but softball and baseball are right around the corner. Last season, Lisbon head softball coach Bob Bunting was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Tuesday, June 28, in Louisville, Kentucky. He has led the Lions for almost five decades and won his 1,000th game back in 2012. The softball team wish to continue their past success this season. In 2014, the Lions fought hard but had a disappointing season as they were 14-24. They lost 3 seniors that year; however, the Lions were back to their winning ways as they improved to 21-20 last season. They also only lost 4 seniors this year and have some incredible 8th grade talent joining the team this year. The Lions look to improve every day and improve on their season last year. They have already started open cages and throwing sessions to get better. On behalf of Pride Rock Blog, I would like to congratulate Bob Bunting on being named to the Hall of Fame last year and wish the best of luck to the softball team this year.
The Lion’s baseball team has had 3 different head coaches the last three years. This year will be there fourth as Travis Bennett takes over the head coaching role. The team, however, is already familiar with the coach because he was the assistant last year. Travis Bennett has a history with baseball. He attended Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids. There, he was first team all-state twice, while breaking the school’s single season hit record his senior year with 73 hits. From there, he went and played baseball at Kirkwood Community College. He played 2 seasons at Kirkwood, and set a single season hit record with 82 hits and was named a 2007 NJCAA First Team All-American all in his freshman year. After his two years at Kirkwood he went to the University of Northern Iowa. To finish college, Bennett played for the Wichita State Shockers where he had another successful season. He was named to the second-team all Missouri Conference Team when he was with UNI and Wichita. After he graduated, he coached at Jefferson High School as assistant baseball and football coach. He is currently an assistant coach for Cornell College in Mt. Vernon and obviously the head coach of the Lisbon Lions. In 2015, the Lions went 32-3 and lost a heartbreaker in the district finals to the North Linn Lynx. Almost the entire starting lineup that year were seniors. Last season, they went 24-13 where they tried to get redemption against the Lynx, again in the district finals. Unfortunately, the Lions lost 3-1. They had only two seniors on that team and are returning all but 1 starter. The Lions expect to do big things this year and are already working hard. Hitting and throwing also already started for the baseball team.