Leesville Baseball Spotlight: Cole Lanford

Cole Lanford at the Leesville baseball game against Wakefield on March 4. Lanford has been the pitcher for LRHS since the 2020-2021 school year. (Photo used by permission of Cole Lanford)

Leesville Road High School (LRHS)’s baseball team has many excellent players, and there is one standout player in particular: Cole Lanford.

Lanford is a sophomore at LRHS who verbally committed to North Carolina State University (NC State) his freshman year and is in talks about going pro after college with the Boston Red Socks and the Detroit Tigers.

Baseball Beginnings 

Lanford started playing baseball at the age of four. “My dad and his buddy actually got me into [baseball],” said Lanford. “They played softball for the USA Team.” 

As a pitcher, Lanford’s favorite part of baseball is how he can control the game. “I love the adrenaline rush I get from pitching,” said Lanford. 

Lanford also loves the way no one can tell what he’s going to pitch next and the boost he can give the team by striking someone out. 

The Big Commitment

Lanford became verbally committed to NC State after being spotted in a local baseball tournament in Durham. “I decided that’s where I really wanted to go and I love the coaching staff and I love everyone else over there,” said Lanford.

When asked if he was surprised by the commitment, Lanford was not. “I started to notice that I was starting to get really good at what I was doing,” said Lanford. “I wasn’t missing very many spots when I was pitching…I felt like it was coming.”

Lanford’s teammates were not surprised by this commitment either. “I wasn’t surprised by [the verbal commitment],” said Tanner Langlois, a player on the LRHS baseball team.“He works extremely hard which college coaches love and he’s a great player on the field and a good kid off the field.” 

Life Outside of Sports

Baseball is Lanford’s passion, but he also plays basketball. “This weekend [March 18-20] consisted of basketball,” said Lanford. “Me and my parents went to an AU Tournament I played.”

“A lot of the friends I have are in sports, so I hang out with them at tournaments,” said Lanford. Lanford also hangs out with his friends back home whenever he has a free weekend. 

Even though baseball takes up a lot of Lanford’s time, he constantly tries to find a life outside of baseball. “This is what I have deep conversations about with people,” said Lanford. “Making sure I have a life outside of baseball and that it doesn’t take up everything that I’m doing.” 

“Baseball’s gonna end for me at some point, so I have to know who I am outside of baseball.” Lanford does that by meeting new people that don’t have anything to do with baseball or sports. 

Lanford intends to have a good career at Leesville, NC State, and whatever pro team he joins when he’s older, with the whole Leesville community wishing him luck along the way. 




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