TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Longtime Seaman baseball coach Steve Bushnell left big shoes to fill when he made the move from head coach to the school’s athletic director.
Now, a familiar name is stepping in to lead the team — hoping to continue the Vikings’ streak of bringing home state titles.
"I want to keep the tradition going,” Trent Oliva, Seaman’s new head baseball coach, said.
Oliva is no stranger to the success the Vikings program has had under his Bushnell’s tenure: nine 5A State Championship rings and 18 State appearances in 21 years — he was an assistant on the staff for five of them.
"It's actually where I started at for 12 years,” Oliva, who began his student-teaching career at Seaman, said. “Then I was able to get a head coaching opportunity at Royal Valley and was able to take advantage of that opportunity for the last two or three years. Then this opened back up, and I was fortunate enough for them to choose me."
Now back at home, Oliva says he'll carry the lessons he learned under Bushnell into the team's next chapter.
"I've learned so much more about baseball, not only just baseball, but how to do things the right way and how to treat people, and how to be a leader of young men,” he said.
The powerhouse program won back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019.
As they looked to three-peat in 2020, the season ended before it began due to COVID-19.
Now, in his first season, Oliva has his sights set on getting the Vikings back on top.
"There's nothing like watching your own guys celebrate,” Oliva said. “To be the head coach for those guys, that would just mean the world."