Baseball: LaPrade leaves Paradise – Pike to lead Panthers onto diamond

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, June 1, 2016
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After guiding the Paradise Panthers to a second-place finish in District 9-3A, Kinney LaPrade is heading east to take the baseball job at Winnsboro.

LaPrade spent one season with the Panthers, leading the team to a 12-16-1 record. Paradise went 9-5 in 9-3A before being upended in a pair of tight games by Pottsboro in a 3A Region II bi-district series.

“It was fun year and it’s been a fun place to be,” LaPrade said. “It was a great year with only two returners off last year’s team – our two pitchers [John Bridgeman and Bryson Meyers]. They did their job, and we had some young ones come through.”

After a 3-9-1 start in predistrict tournaments, Paradise won nine of its final 16.

“We lost two to Decatur, Godley, Windthorst and Brock – who all went a few rounds in the playoffs,” LaPrade said. “It was good competition early.”

Assistant Nick Pike will take over as the Paradise head baseball coach.

“We’re excited to have someone of his caliber to take over,” said Paradise Athletic Director Ronnie Gage.

Pike will be the Panthers’ third coach in three years. Mike Fehler coached the Panthers in 2015.

Chad Woodard, who recently accepted the girls basketball head coaching job, will remain as a baseball assistant for Pike.

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