It was four fantastic years, but the time to attack new challenges has come.
Emund Prichett, Shoemaker head basketball coach, recently tendered his resignation in order to accept the same position at Mansfield Summit, where he will reunite with Channon Hall, former athletic coordinator and head football coach of the Grey Wolves.
In his four years at the helm of the Shoemaker basketball program, Prichett racked up an impeccable record of 104-28 and a district tally of 45-7 while capturing three league titles.
Prichett is excited to move on to his new endeavor, but the decision was difficult for the graduate of Ellison, who spent four years as an assistant at Shoemaker before becoming the head basketball coach.
“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Prichett said. “Me being from Killeen, I’ve been here since I was in seventh grade. My immediate family is here, so me moving on — I can definitely say it wasn’t something I was planning on doing or really wanted to do.
“But sometimes, you’ve got to take on new challenges and try to better yourself, and I think this is an opportunity for me to do that.”
This past season, Prichett led the Grey Wolves to the regional quarterfinals, and he commandeered a dominant Shoemaker club that went 34-3 and reached the regional semifinals two years ago.
The Grey Wolves continue to boast a talented team on the court, but the chance to reunite with Hall was enticing enough for Prichett to change paths.
“It’s an opportunity to work with coach Hall again,” Prichett said. “That’s a guy I trust and really care about, and it’s just a new challenge in a new area that really cares about their basketball. It’s just a new opportunity to put myself in a new arena and accept a new challenge.”
A challenge it will be. Prichett will be taking over a program that resides in District 10-5A, which hosts Lancaster, Mansfield Lake Ridge, Mansfield Legacy, Midlothian, Red Oak, Waxahachie and defending state champion Mansfield Timberview.
“Our district here (in Killeen) is really, really tough,” Prichett said. “I think it will kind of be the same in that area, where you’ve got to play every single night to be able to win a game. It’s just a matter of getting those athletes in a different mindset and a different mode to play the way I’d like them to play – and to play championship basketball.”
At Shoemaker, that mode of play was supersonic speed. The Grey Wolves played at a pace not many could match, and the results showed.
Prichett hopes to take “Shoemaker speed” and apply it to Summit.
“We’re going to play the Shoemaker style of basketball,” Prichett said. “We’re going to get up and down the floor, and we’re going to play as hard as we can and play some defense. That’s definitely what the plan is, for now.”
Looking back, Prichett has many fond memories of coaching at Shoemaker, and he will definitely miss it.
“Everything about Shoemaker,” Prichett said. “Our support was tremendous – from the principal to the faculty and staff, and the parents were very supportive. And the kids, they laid everything on the line for me.
“I really owe it to all the kids who have played for me. Without their hard work and dedication, I definitely wouldn’t have gotten an opportunity of this magnitude.”
When he evaluates the Shoemaker club he is leaving, Prichett expects the same success he had in his four years to continue — and he still uses the word “we.”
“They should be right up there, battling for a district title,” he said. “We have won three in a row, and I don’t see why we can’t make it four. I know those guys have a great work ethic and a great attitude, and they know how to play basketball the right way.
“If they continue to build on that and continue to be coachable and aggressive, I think it’s a championship in the making.”