Shawnee Heights' Ryan Schmidt has accomplished about everything a coach can accomplish in his 25-year run as the T-Birds' head baseball coach.

Now the Heights veteran just wants to add a few more highlights before bringing his long tenure to an end later this spring.

RyanSchmidtBASEBALLREX 1Ryan Schmidt will end his 25-year run as Shawnee Heights' baseball coach at the conclusion of the 2024 season. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

The 54-year-old Schmidt, who has coached the T-Birds to a pair of Class 5A state championships as Heights' head coach while also having a hand in two other state titles as an assistant under Craig Cox, will retire as a coach and teacher at the end of the current school year.

"It's time to maybe turn it over to younger guys to come up and bring their energy,'' said Schmidt, who has coached multiple players who went on to play professional baseball.

"We still have a lot of energy as a coaching staff and I love our coaches, but I just kind of made up my mind that after 25 years as a head coach and 31 years at Shawnee Heights and 31 years in the baseball program it just felt right.''

Schmidt said the thing he'll miss the most is the relationships he's built with his players and assistant coaches, including longtime assistant Derek Pomeroy.

"I've always let our coaches coach and I couldn't do it without coach Pom,'' Schmidt said. "His knowledge is incredible and every relationship is what I'll miss, but especially with the coaches.''

RyanSchmidtBASEBALLREX 2Ryan Schmidt (left) has been part of four Class 5A state baseball championships at Shawnee Heights, two as a head coach and two as an assistant. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

The goal now is to end the '24 season with one more trip to the 5A state tournament at Wichita State's Eck Stadium.

"Absolutely, that's our main goal,'' Schmidt said. "That's what we want. We want that this year for these guys.''


Mill Valley snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the seventh and survived a T-Bird scoring threat in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 win over Shawnee Heights at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.

Mill Valley jumped in front with a single run in the top of the third but Heights tied the game in the bottom of the fifth before a run scoring single from senior Reid Livingston plated the game-winning run and the visitors added an insurance run in the seventh.

CarterUlrichBASEBALL 1Shawnee Heights senior pitcher Carter Ulrich (middle) is congratulated after ending a scoreless inning in Wednesday's 3-1 non-league loss to Mill Valley. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

T-Bird senior starter Carter Ulrich turned in a solid performance on the mound before getting relief help from seniors Jayden Holly and Ben Schaub. 

"That's a good 6A team and we were happy with our focus and the pitchers threw really well,'' Schmidt said. "We put Schauby in a tough spot right there and they made a good hit.''

Shawnee Heights (1-1) gave itself a chance despite getting just two hits, a double and a single from junior catcher Deacon Pomeroy, an Oklahoma State commit. Pomeroy reached base in all four of his at-bats, also drawing two walks. 

"We scratch out two hits and we're in that game the whole time,'' Schmidt said.


Mill Valley (1-0)             001 000 2 -- 3 5 0

Shawnee Heights (1-1) 000 010 0 -- 1 2 1

W -- Neis. L -- Holly. 2B -- Mill Valley: VanRheen. Shawnee Heights: Pomeroy. 

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