Late Rowan Co. coach inducted into alumni hall of fame

Published: Jan. 30, 2018 at 11:41 PM EST
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Rowan County Senior High School inducted the late Coach Keith Prater into its Alumni Hall of Fame Tuesday night.

Prater died in July after a short and hard-fought battle with cancer. It is a loss still felt in Rowan County. Prater served as baseball coach, bowling coach, and teacher.

"He wanted to instill lasting traits in all the kids whether it was in the classroom, on the field, wherever ... that was his goal to make sure they were well-rounded individuals," said Prater's wife, Misty Prater.

Prater made a big impression in a short amount of time. People who knew him described him as "dedicated," "caring," and a "great family man."

"I'm older than Coach Prater was and a lot of times you look up to people when they're older than you, I actually looked up to Coach Prater," said current Head Baseball Coach Scott Collins.

Prater's wife and two little girls were honored on the basketball court Tuesday night, receiving a standing ovation. Misty Prater said the fact that her husband's photo will now hang in the halls is bittersweet. She said it will show their daughters how well-respected and loved their dad was.

"I know when they come to the school one day and they see his picture, it will be good and constant reminder that he's always around," Prater said. "But at the same time, it's just not fair that he isn't here to see them through."