When Poteau High School Baseball Coach Ronnie Sockey announced his resignation last month to become the new softball coach at Greenwood (Ark.) High School, it seemed only a logical move by Poteau Public Schools to promote Assistant Coach Andy Perdue to replace him. At Monday night's school board meeting, that's exactly what happened.
Perdue said there's not going to be a lot of changes made, since he knows what his players can do.
“There's not a lot that's going to change here,” said Perdue, who began his baseball coaching career at Prosper, Texas, in 1988. “Just a few little things here and there to satisify my tastes.”
Since he has been assistant coach for several years, no new coach would know the players any better than Perdue.
“That's a good thing,” Perdue said about getting to take over the program from Sockey. “We don't really have anybody new. I'm not going to be starting behind, like had someone coming in from outside the program would have. The only new player we have is our new football coach's son (Jay Werner). He just might be that missing piece of the puzzle we need. He's a very dominant pitcher, which we'll need because of Wilson (Klutts, signing with Northeastern Oklahoma State University) and Blake (Roley, signing with Eastern Oklahoma State College) enrolling in college. Now, I've just got to get me an assistant. We're looking for a coach who will be a baseball and football assistant.”
Perdue is going to inherit a very promising Pirate baseball team, and understood how tough the decision to move on was for Sockey.
“We only lost three seniors (Klutts, Roley and Jake McMillin),” Perdue said. “That's what made it tough for Ronnie to leave because of all the talent we've got coming back. But he felt like it was the right thing to do. I didn't push him out the door. I hate to see him go, but I'm glad that I'm going to get the opportunity to coach them.”
Perdue will still be an assistant coach with the Pirates' football team for new coach, Greg Werner.