‘TIMEOUT’ with North Lamar senior baseball player Trent Nickerson
Following a dominant run on the mound as a sophomore along with an early and disappointing finish to his junior year last season, North Lamar High School’s senior ace pitcher Trent Nickerson is hungry to pick up where he left off with his team.
The Panthers reached the playoffs during Trent’s sophomore season for the first time since 2017, and that most recent playoff appearance was also head coach Bric Steed’s first year leading the Blue and Gold’s baseball program. After gaining confidence, increasing his experience, and enduring times of disappointment, Trent continued to work tirelessly throughout the unknowns in preparation for another opportunity to be great.
“I think it means a lot because we had so much taken away for us last year with everyone ready to watch us,” Trent said. “Now, we lost so much so we want to prove to people that we didn’t lose as much as everyone thinks we did. Also, I think it’s important to set a standard for the younger guys who are coming back next year.”
In what was very likely a promising season last year, the coronavirus did not flinch as it wiped out the Panthers’ season along with the same fate for countless other high school sports teams. Regardless, Trent did not stop working hard and pushing towards his goal of shutting it down for his team on the mound for one more season.
“I think this year, what really stands out to me is that my determination has picked up more,” Trent said. “Since I’m only playing baseball this year, I was more into it starting out. Other than that, it’s just about everyone else buying into the program — everyone is starting to figure out that they can improve their skills a whole lot more if they buy into the program. I think that will also help us out a lot”
In his journey to becoming the player and leader he is for the North Lamar baseball program, Trent has needed a strong foundation, which he has received from several different yet important outlets.
“My parents have always been hard on me to be the best I can and work as hard as I can towards whatever I am doing, and Coach Steed coming in coupled with moving back here brought out the confidence in me that I didn’t really have my freshman year,” Trent said. “Those things combined together have really made me who I am today as a senior.”
Trent feels confident in all of the work he has poured into the game along with the progression and attention to detail of his teammates, which is expected to translate into live games in a big way.
“I think we’re going to be more prepared than any team we get out on the field with because of how we practice,” Trent said. “When we go to practice, we commit to it and work as hard as we can each time we do practice to make ourselves better. I think we will be ready for any team we face.”
He is an ace pitcher, a future college athlete, and even an avid Guitar Hero player. Trent has plenty of skill and ability both known and unknown but, like all of us, he is human and has been susceptible to embarrassing moments.
“My first day of sophomore year, the teacher asked if there were any freshmen in there, and I raised my hand because I forgot what grade I was in,” Trent said. “It was pretty embarrassing.”
However, Trent has also been a common spectator during plenty of humorous times with his team.
“One day we were heading out to a game, we were kind of moving sluggishly, and we weren’t really getting our stuff ready quickly,” Trent said. “Coach Steed decided to leave some of the players behind and make them run from the locker room to the bus, which he had parked with all of us in it at the elementary school.”
The year 2020 provided plenty of tough times and stressful situations in each of our lives. For Trent, casting out a fishing line and escaping from the outside noise has consistently helped him clear his mind and recharge.
“My happy place would definitely be fishing — it could be anywhere,” Trent said. “I could just be sitting on a boat or in a pasture on a lake or pond somewhere. It definitely gets my mind off things and helps get me back and focused on what I need to be doing.”
The Panthers are scheduled to host their first scrimmage at 6 p.m. Monday at home against Mount Pleasant at Pos Long Field. For more sports coverage, click here. For more local news coverage, click here.