After 13 seasons at the position, Pruitt, who has more than 400 wins on his resume, will retire after this season during which the Raiders will be aiming to repeat their Class AAAA state championship.
“It’s a great feeling coming back as the defending champions but expectations are no different even though this is my last season,” Pruitt said. “We have aspirations every year of being state champions. It just took us a long time to get there. We are happy to be in a position to be able to call ourselves state champions.”
Last year, Redan swept Marist (11-0, 4-3) for the title.
“The biggest goal is to return to the state finals,” Pruitt said. “This is my 14th season at Redan and 12 of the previous 13 years we’ve been in the playoffs so the state playoffs are nothing new. But being in the state finals is and that is something we want to go back to.”
As far as Marist, the Raiders are scheduled to have their first matchup of the season against the War Eagles on March 31.
“We want to play them probably just as much as they will want to play us,” Pruitt said.
Back to lead Redan’s attempt at a repeat are two of four starters and senior pitchers Daren Osby and Corderius Dorsey.
“Three of our top pitchers are back and most of infield,” Pruitt said. “We are replacing our corner outfielders with freshmen so that will be a little bit different. But I think those guys are pretty good ball players so we are looking forward to it.”
On Feb. 21, the Raiders are scheduled to open the season against defending Class A champion Eagle’s Landing Christian in the Georgia Dugout Tournament.