ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The Rowan County High School baseball team will play for the KHSAA State Baseball Tournament at Whitaker Bank Ballpark this week. It's the team's first trip to the tourney since 1983. However, when they take the field on Thursday, they will do so without their head coach.
Coach Keith Prater
On Tuesday night, Coach Keith Prater talked to his team to break the news about a health scare he's experiencing. Coach Prater is currently at the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he is undergoing a biopsy.
Coach Prater got hit by a foul ball causing extreme swelling in his leg. When it didn't heal, he went in for further testing. Doctors say blood tests led them to believe Prater has Acute Myeloid (AML) Leukemia. They are waiting on the results of the biopsy to confirm the suspected diagnosis.
"It was like all of the sudden we all got the news and it was heartbreaking," said Senior Ethan Ratliff.
Prater's team will make the trip to Lexington on Thursday to play their first matchup of the tournament.
"Coach Prater is our whole motivation right now. Before we were just riding on the fact that we had won the region and we were going to the tournament, but now it's completely for Coach Prater," said Vikings pitcher AJ Hacker.
Prater is in his 2nd season as head coach at Rowan County.