On Tuesday, West Stokes alum Andrew O’Neal was named head coach of the Wildcats baseball team, replacing veteran coach Kirk Goodson.
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to coach baseball at a school as rich in tradition as West Stokes,” O’Neal said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have played for coach Goodson and coach Lickfeld. I hope I can have as great of an impact on my future players as they’ve had on me.”
O’Neal graduated from West Stokes in 2006 and went on to play baseball at Catawba College. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2011. He assisted Goodson on this year’s baseball team and spent most of the year coaching third base. O’Neal also has head coaching experience, as he is currently the men’s varsity soccer coach. In his first year at the soccer helm, he won the Northwest Conference Championship and was named conference coach of the year. He has just completed his fourth year in the head soccer coaching position.
In high school, O’Neal was a four-sport standout. He was an all-conference middle infielder in baseball and a conference player of the year in soccer. He also played football and basketball.
“I hope to make baseball as great of an experience as it has been for me. I’m very excited and thankful that our administrative staff has given me this opportunity. I look forward to working with great coaches and players in the future,” the new coach said.
Athletic director Chris Manley feels confident in turning such a reputable program over to O’Neal.
“He’s been groomed as a player and a coach under one of the best, Kirk Goodson. Coach O’Neal knows baseball and will apply his own playing and leadership style to our program. He’s currently assembling his staff and wants nothing but the best for his players. His teams will be physically and mentally fit to not only succeed on the field, but off the field with the values and principles he will instill in them.”