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Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2004

Petry out as Lawrence High baseball coach

School administrators decline comment other than to confirm move

June 3, 2004

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David Petry's five-year run as baseball coach at Lawrence High is over.

Petry said Wednesday that he was no longer Lawrence High's baseball coach. He wouldn't comment further, directing questions to LHS administrators.

Lawrence High athletic director Ron Commons declined to comment. LHS principal Steve Nilhaus confirmed that Petry wouldn't be back, but declined to give details, such as if Petry resigned or was fired.

In his five seasons as LHS coach, Petry led the Lions to three state tournament appearances, and guided LHS to the last of the school's celebrated state titles back in 2000.

His record in the five years was 81-34, an impressive .704 winning percentage.

However, this season was a struggle for LHS, traditionally a strong baseball school. After starting the season 4-0, the Lions lost their next five, and had problems with consistency the rest of the way. They finished 9-11, and was ousted in the regional finals by rival Free State High, 7-4.

The Firebirds finished 21-4 and were state runners-up.

"We had that chance to go to state and we lost to a really good team," recent LHS graduate Ryan Engel said Tuesday. "I don't think it was anything against (Petry)."

Engel said he hadn't heard of the move until asked by a reporter.



Nilhaus said the position would be advertised and a replacement would be sought as soon as possible.

Petry was the third coach in the 18-year history of the LHS baseball team. Lynn Harrod (1986-1996) and Dirk Wedd (1997-1999) preceded him. Harrod was coach when LHS won its other state title in baseball in 1996.

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