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story.lead_photo.caption Helias softball coach Chris Wyrick speaks to the team following the 2019 Class 3 state championship game at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

Family comes first.

"It was tough, but one I needed to make for my family," Chris Wyrick said Tuesday night about his decision to step down after two seasons as the softball coach at Helias. "I got to see exactly two of my son's football games this fall. In the past, I've missed too many of the daughters' soccer games, basketball games, volleyball games.

"If I could go back, I would probably do things a little different. But I can do this right now."

The Lady Crusaders were 49-12 in Wyrick's two seasons, which included a Class 3 state championship in 2019.

"When I was talking to the girls about my decision, I told them we only lost 12 games in two years, some teams lose 12 in three or four weeks," Wyrick said. "Sometime it takes a team three or four years to win 49 games.

"I couldn't have asked for better groups last year and this year. They did what I asked them to do and I'll miss it."

The state championship was a special season.

"That was a talented group, I just had to fill out the lineup card and get out of the way," Wyrick said. "I knew what they could do."

Wyrick, who is in his 22nd year at Helias. will remain the head baseball coach and a varsity assistant for the girls basketball team.

"Sometimes I think I monopolize coaching here a little bit," he said. "I just want to help the kids succeed, but I think sometimes I'm involved a little too much."

Coaching three sports left little time for anything else for Wyrick.

"I can only be competitive and that intense for so long, it seemed like it was 12 months a year," he said. "There's no offseason, things crank up in the summer with baseball and softball at the same time."

Helias will return at least six starters in softball next fall from a team that lost in the Class 5 district title game last month.

"They have a good core coming back," Wyrick said. "They have a chance to be very good again."

It will be with Wyrick rooting from the stands, instead of the coaching box and dugout.

"I'll miss planning and running practice, making the ultimate decisions during games," he said. "But I'm good with my decision."

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