By Marianne Ward
A former Waynesville High School girls’ basketball and soccer standout was recently inducted into the Drury University 2018 Sports Hall of Fame.
Katie Pritchard, a 2008 WHS graduate, was inducted in her first year of eligibility. She graduated from Drury in 2013.
“Katie’s work ethic was unmatched,” said Butch O’Riley, secretary of the Waynesville R-VI Board of Education who was the head girls’ basketball coach at the time Pritchard played.
“She would spend hours perfecting her shot. She represents WHS well, not only as a two-sport athlete, but also as a great student. I was very humble to have the opportunity to coach her during her junior and senior years,” O’Riley said.
Pritchard was a five-time all-state athlete in high school and a finalist for Miss Show-Me Basketball, which recognizes the top female high school basketball player in the state of Missouri. Pritchard also set a new high school state record of 171 career-scoring soccer goals.
Pritchard patterned her basketball training after that of Jackie Stiles, a standout on the court at Missouri State University from 1997 to 2001. The routine included making 1,000 shots every day of practice.
“We are super proud of Katie; she worked awfully hard for a number of years to achieve that level of success on the court,” said her father, Keith Pritchard. “We are proud because she made a difference and set a mark for other kids to follow.”
Pritchard played basketball for the Lady Panthers from 2008 to 2013 and is ranked fourth on Drury’s all-time scoring list with 1,541 career points. A three-time All-GLVC selection, Katie is the Lady Panthers’ all-time leader in three-pointers with 255 in her career while making 44.7 percent of her attempts. She was also a soccer standout at Drury in 2009 and 2010, earning All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors.
In May, Katie Pritchard completed her master’s degree from Drury, while serving as the Lady Panthers’ assistant basketball coach for four seasons. Pritchard then accepted the position as the head girls basketball coach at Marshfield High School in Marshfield, Missouri.
A link to Drury’s Sports Hall of Fame induction video chronicling Pritchard’s playing career is available at https://www.facebook.com/keithw.pritchard/videos/2544123559147365/.
(Editor’s note: Ward is the director of Waynesville R-VI Communications and Marketing.)