Community Champions: Female teacher coaches Godley Station’s baseball team

Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - At one local school, middle school boys are living out the dream of playing baseball only because a woman stepped up to coach them.

Michelle Lanier is teaching her players about baseball.

“Where they should be, where cutoffs are, how to cover each other.”

But giving them lessons in equality.

“The biggest thing is just kind of get the basics and for them to build that camaraderie as a team,” Lanier said.

Godley Station Middle School has a baseball team this year because Lanier decided to coach it. A woman in a traditionally male role is the only reason these boys are getting to play.

“I am typically a basketball coach, but some things happened, and they weren’t going to be able to play unless someone stepped up and coached,” Lanier said.

“I’m just glad she’s here. She stepped up and let us play baseball. Without her, we wouldn’t be able to play or have a season at all,” Owen Manuel said.

Lanier teaches several of her players in Health and Family Consumer Science classes and had to recruit a few when it appeared they might not have enough players for a team.

“We had some people step up who hadn’t played baseball before and pulled together and got a team. We’re very proud of them, excited. We had a great first game.”

For every game, Lanier makes the lineup, positions players and coaches third base. But for the season, this WTOC Community Champions’ most important job will be creating opportunities that wouldn’t have existed without her.

“Our biggest goal is to make sure we have fun and enjoy the game. One of the parents took a picture at the first game with the sun in the backdrop and the shadows of the boys on the field and seeing that ... that said it all to me.”

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