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Washington’s coach Leggett steps down as head baseball coach

There’s been quite a bit of coaching turnover this year at Washington High School, and that continued this week after Kevin Leggett’s announcement to step down as the Pam Pack’s head baseball coach. Junior Varsity head baseball coach and the newly named Athletic Director, Lane Raper, will fill the vacancy.

Leggett’s wife got a job opportunity in Wilson beginning next month. Leggett and his family will be moving to Greenville after their house in Washington sells, according to Leggett.

“With away games and home games it would just be too much of a logistical problem to get the kids taken care of for this year once we are living in Greenville,” Leggett said. “I hate it because we don’t know when (our house) will actually sell. … I didn’t want to distract the players from their business if it happened to be in the middle of the season.”

Raper has been coaching under Leggett and heading up the jayvee Pam Pack baseball team for the past six years. He explained that he’s coached some Washington’s current players at P.S. Jones when he was teaching there.

“I was completely shocked last week when he made the call to me,” Raper said. “He was calling me as an AD and as his assistant coach asking if I’d be interested in it. You know, I was excited after the call. I thought about how much we’d done as a team and how far we’ve come working together, and I’m proud how we turned things around the past five years. We look to continue that trend this year.”

Leggett announced to the team yesterday afternoon during the team’s practice that he would be stepping down, and it caught some of the players off guard, according to senior infielder Will Crisp.

“There had been some rumors, but a lot people didn’t know about it. So, it was kind of shocking,” Crisp said. “Above everything he just wanted to be there on the field with us. More than anything though, we’re all just ready to get out there and play ball.”

Crisp’s message to his teammates was to just rally around each other.

“We just have to keep the same mind set we had last year. We just need to go out there and have fun. We have to want to be out here, take it serious, and play the best sport in the world with my dudes,” Crisp said.

Leggett’s message to his team was to sustain the success that they’ve had in the last few years.

“For the players, I hope they can keep building on the success we have brought to Washingto in my five years,” Leggett said. “I want them all to keep working to become great young men on the diamond, but more importantly off of it.”

The Pam Pack will scrimmage Northside High School Tuesday evening at 4 p.m. The first regular season game of the season will be March 3 at J.H. Rose’s Guy Smith Stadium in Greenville.