Desoto County Sports

Scholl, Gilbert named to lead Lewisburg baseball, softball programs

Photo: From left, new Lewisburg baseball coach Tyler Scholl and new softball coach Caleb Gilbert. (Bob Bakken/

Lewisburg High School Tuesday named two assistant coaches to lead the school’s baseball and softball teams into the future. 

Tuesday, pitching coach Tyler Scholl was introduced to the baseball team as the Patriots’ new head coach, replacing Rusty Cagle, who is moving into the role as head football coach.  

At the same time, the Lady Patriots softball team was learning that Caleb Gilbert would now lead that program, as Brooke Van de Vuurst is stepping away to focus on her growing family.  Gilbert Tuesday did say Van de Vuurst would still assist the program in a voluntary role.

Both Scholl and Gilbert are products of The ‘Burg, both graduating from Lewisburg.

Scholl played for the Patriots for four years, then played two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College and two years at Mississippi College. From there, he returned to Lewisburg, where he’s been an assistant coach for the past eight years, working with Cagle, the coach who coached him in high school.

“I told the team that Lewisburg baseball is all I know,” Scholl said. “Following in the footsteps of the guy who coached me is truly an honor.”  

Scholl faces a bit of a rebuilding challenge next season, as 15 players who were part of a 6A state championship last season and reached the playoffs’ second round this year are graduating in the next couple of weeks.  

“We’re going to be super young but I really like the classes that we have coming up,” said Scholl. “We’re going to have to learn how to handle failure together.” 

Gilbert actually filled in and took on head coaching duties for a time during this season as Van de Vuurst attended to a young and growing family. Now it becomes his program to grow.  He thinks having the chance to be fill-in head coach worked to his benefit.  

“The way they received and took what I was preaching to them gave me the confidence that I could do this full time,” Gilbert said. “I’m excited to keep going.”  

Gilbert pointed out the Lady Patriots have been in the North Half championship series before but have never reached the state championship round. He feels the team has the capability to make that next step.  

“The philosophy is going to be similar working with coach Van de Vuurst for the last five years,” Gilbert said. “We’re going to keep this thing going and hopefully continue to build success.”

Gilbert played golf and football in high school at Lewisburg and returned to The ‘Burg after graduating from Mississippi State.

At Lewisburg, Gilbert has been an assistant football coach and became assistant softball coach just a year after his arrival to the high school.  While he has played baseball, Gilbert never played fast-pitch softball, although his mother did play collegiately at Arkansas State, so he’s been around the game for many years.  He will continue his role as an assistant in the football program along with his work in softball.  

“I believe in competition, that’s how you grow,” said Gilbert. “We’re losing only two players (Leah Walker and Leah Nevarez) and they are both college softball players, but when you look at our lineup overall, we have a lot of talent coming back. The expectation is to get back to where we were and even go further.”  

Van de Vuurst said she was excited for the future of the softball program with Gilbert leading it.  

“He is a key part of Lewisburg athletics and the Burg is fortunate to have him,” she said. “I think he’s the perfect man for the job and I know he will do a great job continuing to grow a championship mentality. He is an all-around great coach and the girls are lucky to have him.”

Principal Kris Perkins said he’s looking for both Scholl and Gilbert to take teams to greater success.  

“Having watched these two coaches over the past four years, their passion and dedication to their programs was unmatched,” Perkins said. “They have earned the respect and trust of their players, coaches, and parents. As products of Lewisburg, I am certain that they will take each of their respective programs to the next level.”