Lyons has a chance to head home |

Lyons has a chance to head home

by Carter Eckl
Douglas High's Eli Lyons fields a bouncing ball in the infield. Lyons committed to Southwestern Assemblies of God University to continue playing baseball at the NAIA level.
Ron Harpin

Douglas High’s Eli Lyons will get a chance to return home when he heads to Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in the fall to continue playing baseball.

Lyons, who lived in Texas for 12 years before moving to Nevada, will get a chance to reunite with some of his old friends and former teammates when he arrives in Waxahachie, Texas.

“The team chemistry would be great,” said Lyons. “It’s a Christian based school and I’m a Christian. It felt like home and I had a lot of friends going there as well.

“I’d say I put God in the center of everything I do,” Lyons added. “I’ve been praying about this for some time now and for God to answer that prayer is awesome.”

The Tiger catcher has been a staple behind the plate the last few seasons for Douglas, hitting .324 last season with 15 RBIs and eight doubles.

This season, the outgoing senior had driven in six runs in 22 at-bats.

“I’ve been working for that since I was young so it’s pretty big to continue onto the next level out of high school,” said Lyons. “It is my passion to continue playing baseball.”

Lyons hasn’t been missing out on workouts without the high school season, noting that technology has allowed coaches to send him workouts as an individual.

“Get my arm ready from behind the plate,” said Lyons. “It’s a bummer that I can’t do it with the whole team, but to still keep that chemistry between some of the team.”

As a catcher, Lyons is tasked with plenty of responsibility and he feels that is some of his biggest strengths on the diamond.

“Seeing the bigger picture. Seeing what’s going to happen before it happens,” said Lyons. “I think that’s my biggest skill.”

SAGU competes at the NAIA level in the Sooner Athletic Conference alongside some of the top teams in the nation from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.

Four of the nine schools in the conference were ranked or receiving votes in the final top 25 NAIA coaches’ poll of 2020.

The newest Lion said his coaching staff while at Douglas was a huge part of his ability to gain confidence as a player.

“Ever since I came, coach Gonzo (Ryan Gonzalez) has been very, very positive and patient with me and really worked with me to get to the next level. He has really pushed me in a positive way,” Lyons said.

Lyons said he wants to eventually become a firefighter, but he plans on studying criminal justice while at SAGU.