Kayla Lucas is a 2011 graduate and former Mustang softball player.
Where is She Now?
Kayla attended CBC in 2010 from Henderson State and was a member of the NCCAA National Championship team. Now as a coach, Coach Lucas took her Young Harris College team to their first ever NCAA Division II World Series this season. They won 44 games, a new program record, going 2-2 in the World Series as the #8 seed.
Then, finished as a national semifinalist and a #4 national ranking. Coach Lucas is in her fourth season as the Head Coach of the Mountain Lions and has already accumulated 154 wins in four seasons. Also, the Young Harris Softball team was awarded the 2019 NCAA Southeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
Record Setting Career
Lucas holds the following records at CBC in the shortstop and third base positions:
- Third all-time for on-base percentage (.501)
- Fourth in home runs (33)
- Fifth in batting average (.443), runs scored (136), doubles (36), and slugging percentage (.808)
- Sixth in RBIs (130) and total bases (299)
- Seventh in hits (164)
- Eighth in walks (47)
A National Championship
Lucas described her CBC experience as “amazing”. I was part of the National Championship team. Coming into the season we had high expectations, because they had come so close the year before. To go in and win it was something I will never forget. It helped me where I was at the time. I have lived the experience of both winning and losing and I can’t put into words what holding that trophy was like.”
A Great Experience
Lucas used her CBC championship experience when she led her team to the World Series this year. “It was a great experience for us to get there. It was something those ladies will never forget. It was on our goals sheet at the beginning of the year, but when you look at the history of Division II, it’s hard to get to the World Series. It was a huge weight lifted off their shoulders. To see the look on their faces was pretty awesome and to prove how hard it is to get to the series, there was only one team of the eight that was back from the previous season.”
CBC Made Me Who I Am
Lucas heard about CBC from former UCA softball coach, David Kuhn, who put her in touch with former CBC softball coach, Jason Anderson. “I was in the transfer process from Henderson as they had just made a coaching change,” said Lucas. “CBC took me in and gave me a chance. If I could do it over again, I would have started there. CBC made me who I am.”
What I Learned
Lucas still monitors the progress of the Mustangs. When asked about her most valuable lesson, Lucas replied: “The relationships that you grow are very valuable. In just two years I was able to make relationships with my professors to get my foot in the door to earn my master’s degree. I still have letters from CBC professors.
Prayer is a big deal for us, because we prayed before road trips and games at CBC, we do the same thing at Young Harris. I got that from CBC and it helps guide me while I guide my team.”
You Will Graduate
“I’m a huge competitor,” added Lucas, when asked how CBC influenced her rise in the coaching ranks. “Excelling at the highest level like we did pushed me. Seeing how many of my teammates walked across the stage to get their diploma because of what softball at CBC did, is amazing. For us to be able to live the dream of playing college softball was pretty awesome and I’ve transitioned that ‘you will graduate’ philosophy over to my program.”
CBC Felt Like Home
Coach Lucas’ advice to students who are looking to attend CBC is “when you walk on campus, it should feel like home. CBC felt like home. The one-on-one experience with professors made the difference for me. It was a better experience than going to a larger school. The interactions with your professors and teammates are huge. Your professors will always be there for you. It’s a unique place. I committed the first time I visited campus because everyone was genuine, and it felt like family.”
About the Author
This article was recently published on cbcmustangs.com in this summer’s Where Are They Now alumni series by Erik Holth, CBC Sports Information Director. Visit cbcmustangs.com for Central Baptist College Mustang news, schedules and opt-in e-alerts.
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Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Michael MacEachern, Young Harris College Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Communications