Tag Archive for: faith and sports


CANFIELD, OH- South Range’s baseball team has long been a force to reckon with in high school sports, and Coach Jim Hanek is a significant reason why. With the 2024 season well underway, Coach Hanek shared his thoughts on what constitutes a successful season, the development of young talents, and his coaching philosophy on the first episode of SOUTH RANGE BASEBALL COACH’S CORNER with DJ Yokley.

For Coach Hanek, the team’s recent trip to Myrtle Beach wasn’t merely about wins and losses, though they returned with an impressive 4-1 record. He elaborated, “Wins and losses, yes. I mean, it’s… Those are important, but… the team building, the camaraderie that you get from a trip like that… it just really brings the team closer together.” The importance of team cohesion can often be undervalued, but for teams aiming for the top, it’s clear that Hanek considers it essential.

Fostering a winning culture isn’t just about celebrating victories on the field—it’s also about appreciating the lighter moments. Coach Hanek described the team’s traditional Rios night vividly, recounting moments of lighthearted competition: “There were a few kids that… tried to out eat each other. It didn’t end very well late in the evening,” he chuckled, noting even he had to pass up dessert to focus on the “main course” of the night.

When asked about cultivating standout players like senior Tyler Wardle, Coach Hanek’s pride was evident. “He’s worked hard. I mean, he continues to work hard… and I think he’s a, he’s strong in his faith, you know? And I admire him for the fact… I think that strong faith base he has… that calms him,” he shared, stressing the significance of personal development alongside athletic prowess. For Hanek, inspiring athletes to be well rounded, responsible adults is a key aspect of his coaching duties.

Coach Hanek is also known for his analytical approach to the game, digging deep into data to make informed decisions. Yet he acknowledges the role of intuition. “A lot of… in-game decisions… you just kind of see how the game’s evolving… it’s a mix,” Hanek explained. There’s a dance between following the statistics and trusting one’s instincts that Hanek seems to have mastered over his coaching tenure.

Reflecting on the pressures of winning state championships, Coach Hanek offered perspective: “I think if you’re judged solely on that and you’re looking at that as the ultimate goal and nothing else matters, I think you’re missing a lot.” He emphasized the journey over the destination, the growth of players over wins, and the broader impact a coach can have on young lives.

As South Range’s baseball season progresses, the community will be watching Coach Jim Hanek, not just for his strategic play-calling but for the way he continues to mold a group of young athletes into a tight-knit team poised for success both on and off the diamond. His depth of experience, blended with his thoughtful approach to coaching, makes each game a learning opportunity for his players and a master class for everyone watching. Keep an eye on the Raiders this season as they implement the lessons from Myrtle Beach under the steady guidance of a coach who truly understands the heart of baseball.