Lucas Johnsen was ready to take the ball on opening day for the Falmouth High School baseball team and take it again every time Head Coach Josh Oliver would give it to him. Last spring, as a junior, Johnsen moved up the rotation for the Clippers and had become one of the most reliable starters that FHS had. All signs pointed to a great senior season.
Lucas, the son of Tara Marden and Carl Johnsen, is the second of four siblings to come through the FHS system. His older brother, Noah, was a two-sport athlete at FHS, and his younger brother Cole, a sophomore, played a big role for the ice hockey team this past winter and hoped to earn a varsity spot with the baseball team. Younger sister Avery is also one to watch in the years ahead in several sports.
In school, English has been Lucas’s favorite subject. His most-prized possessions are his car and his baseball glove. Selected as a captain for this year’s baseball team, Lucas was named the Coach’s Award winner last spring for the ball club.
His go-to meal is his mom’s chicken cutlet with mashed potatoes and gravy. “The Wolf of Wall Street” is his favorite movie, “The Outer Banks” is his favorite TV show and J Cole is his favorite musical act.
How did you get involved with baseball? How much do you enjoy it?
I started out playing T-ball at age 4 or 5 and loved it. My older brother Noah also loved baseball and it probably made me love it even more as a little kid.
This was supposed to be your senior year at Falmouth. What role did you expect to play on the team, and what were your expectations for the Clippers this season?
I was chosen to be the Senior Captain, which I was pretty excited about. During the season I expected to be in the starting rotation on the mound, and play some middle infield. I really thought we had a good chance to go deep in the state tournament. We were going to have a young team, but we also have a lot of good arms and I was excited to see what we could do.
This would have been the first season of playing in the Cape and Islands League for your team. How much were you looking forward to playing league games against Sandwich, Barnstable and D-Y?
I was really looking forward to playing against Barnstable. I also have a lot of friends from summer ball who play on other Cape teams, and I was hoping to face some of those guys. My brother Cole and a bunch of my friends set the stage by winning the Cape and Islands League for Clippers Hockey this winter and I was really hoping we would do the same for baseball.
Both of your brothers have played baseball in the Falmouth system. How much competition has there been between the three of you over the years? In your eyes, who has the upper hand?
To be honest, when I was younger, I did not want to be on a Little League team with either of my brothers, but playing varsity baseball with my brother Noah last year was awesome! We really supported each other and we both had great seasons. He was chosen as a First Team ACL All Star and I thought that was awesome, and had a lot to do with us playing on varsity together. I was looking forward to the idea of playing with my younger brother Cole this season. Something about having your brother on the bench with you is pretty cool. Not sure who has the upper hand. I think we are all pretty good players.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
I was chosen to play in the Bay State Games at BC High last summer. I started the second game of the tournament and hit three batters in the first two innings. I have never been so nervous on the mound with so many college coaches in the stands. I pulled it together, but I wish I could throw those two innings again.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my baseball career was being chosen as captain of the baseball team and going to Cooperstown with all my friends.
Who is the best teammate that you have ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
I love playing with Max McDonald. Max is the only teammate that I played summer ball with every year since we were 8. I was really looking forward to being on varsity together this season. We’ve had a ton of fun traveling together for summer baseball and I’m going to miss that.
Sam Griesbauer is also one of my favorite teammates. We’ve been best friends since we played on Kenyon’s together in Little League. Both being pitchers, we really support each other. It was fun being on varsity together last year and I was really looking forward to being co-captains this season.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
What is the most important thing you have learned from playing sports?
Baseball has taught me to be humble. As a pitcher, I have learned that things can change in a minute. You can have a great game one day, and a not-so-great game the next day. You have to take the good with the bad and never get too confident.
Who has been your inspiration?
My mom inspires me because she’s a single mom raising us kids by herself and she works really hard and pushes me to work hard too. She also supports me and my siblings no matter what the situation.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my papa, who recently died, for always looking out for my family. I would like to thank my mom because she has always been my biggest fan. She was always there to take me to practice, she goes to all my games and she really supported my dream to play in college. I would like to thank my brothers and my little sister, Avery, for being my best friends, Sam for motivating me and always pushing me to be a better player and my dad. I would also like to thank coaches Oliver, Kozens and Cooke for believing in me last year and giving me opportunities on varsity.
When quarantine life is over, what is the thing you are most looking forward to doing?
I am really looking forward to spending time with my friends and I can’t wait to get back on the baseball field! I will be playing for Team Cape Cod this summer, and I am really looking forward to that and being on the mound again.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
I am definitely more mature now and more confident as a person. I’m less emotional at baseball and I’ve learned how to control my emotions when things don’t go well. I would tell my freshman self to eat healthier and work out more, work harder in school and let stuff go.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I’ve traveled to 18 different states and I’ve played baseball in 9 of them.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
Dan Bilzerian, to live his lavish lifestyle, to rides dune buggies in the desert, go on yacht trips to Bora Bora and to gamble in Vegas.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My perfect day is being on the beach or a boat with my friends and then to someone’s house or back deck where we would hang out and watch the sunset.
What are your post high school plans?
I plan to attend Framingham State University where I am committed to play baseball and will major in Computer Science.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
Living in the Carolinas with a house on the water and a boat, a really nice wife, 2 kids and 3 dogs.