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Prep baseball: Pritchard staying at Nitro

Steve Pritchard will get a chance to continue the successful baseball program that he built at Nitro High School.

The 12-year head coach said the decision to return to Nitro was family oriented.

"I was very excited to work for the administration at Chapmanville, the board of education and (Chapmanville principal) Kathy Moore," Pritchard said. "A lot of people went to bat for me and I appreciate it. At the end of the day, you have to put your family first."

The 1987 graduate of Chapmanville High School stepped down as Nitro's head baseball coach and athletic director in early July after accepting a position as vice principal at Chapmanville.

"Coaches generally put the kids they coach first over their family and I had to put my family before what I wanted to do," he said. "I love it at Nitro. I didn't wake up any day not wanting to go into work."

Pritchard will be back in the saddle of a program that he built into a state power beginning in 2002. The Wildcats won the Class AAA state title in 2008 and 2010, while claiming the Region 4 championship every season from 2007-12.

Three of his players, Chase Pickering, J.R. Bradley and Korey Dunbar won state player of the year honors in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively.

Also, Pickering, Dunbar and Bradley, as well as Matt Frazer were picks in the Major League First-Year Player Draft.

Pritchard will return to Nitro with a young roster, which last year failed to win the Region 4 championship for the first time since 2006.

Among the returnees is the Daily Mail's 2013 Freshman of the Year Matt Harrison.

"As far as baseball, we are set up to where we can make a couple runs at the state tournament or state championships," he said.

 


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