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By Teresa Bigham/
LOCKNEY – A rambunctious a toddler, Chris Prichard has not let any obstacle get in his way.
Born January 8, 1979 to Bruce and Rita Pritchard, he was a healthy and happy baby, full of life, love and laughter.
Suffering from numerous ear infections, his parents and doctors decided to try tubes in his ears. But at the age of three, doctors discovered he had hearing loss. As a healthy toddler, hearing loss never slowed Prichard down.
“It was around the third grade when the bulling started,” Pritchard said. “I hated school. I developed an anger issue, and I would get frustrated easily.” He said he learned to control his anger as he got older, but the bulling never stopped.
Excelling in sports, he played football, basketball, ran track and played baseball. “Football was my passion,” he said.
In 1998 Pritchard graduated from Edinburg High School. At that point he said he wasn’t sure what his future would hold. The one thing he said he knew for sure was that God would lead him to where he was needed.
In 2000, he said God lead him to the United Assembly of God, where he became the assistant minister.
“Everyone told me I would never succeed because of my hearing. Well God was guiding me in every step I took.”
It was in that church where he met Brandi Wright. “I was 21 years old, and she was the prettiest 18-year-old young lady that I had ever seen,” Prichard said. “I knew from the minute I talked to her that she was the one.”
The pair dated just two weeks before getting engaged.
The couple planned a December wedding, but Brandi was going to nursing school and in December she would start her nursing clinicals. They moved up the wedding date and tied the knot on October 14, 2000.
They welcomed son Caleb in 2003.
While Brandi was working as a nurse, Chris worked nights at Cargill meat packing plant where he would inventory the meat. Then in 2005 the couple welcomed second son, Caden.
Prichard worked at Cargill for eight years. “Working nights was taking a toll on me, so I took a job working at 84 Lumber in Plainview,” he said. “I worked there for a year. While that was a good job, it wasn’t for me. I applied at Walmart Distribution.”
In 2010 the Pritchard family welcomed a third son, Carson. “Our little family was complete. We had three of most beautiful boys. I’m still overwhelmed at the blessing the Lord has given me,” Chris said.
While Chris was working at the distribution center, he faced yet another mountain to overcome. The job required wearing headphones. Hearing the orders that came through was difficult, and he said he lost that job.
But, he said, the good Lord then lead him to apply for a janitor’s position at Lockney ISD, and he worked in that position for three years.
While at LISD, Prichard began taking computer information systems classes at South Plains College. He said he learned an enormous amount about computers and how they work. While studying at South Plains College, he applied for a job in the school district’s IT department.
Prichard has worked in the school’s IT Department for two years, and during that time, he completed the programs at South Plains College and graduated in May with his associate’s degree.
This fall Prichard said he plans to start earning his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems at West Texas A&M, while continuing to work in the IT department.
But that is not all Prichard will be responsible for at the school, he also will be the head powerlifting coach and assistant coach for baseball and football.
This fall, while Prichard works on his bachelor’s degree, his oldest sons, Caleb and Caden, will be attending
Lockney High School. Caleb will be a junior and Caden will be a freshman.
“I’m really glad that the both of us will be in high school at the same time. We’ll have brother time on the football field with our dad helping to coach us,” Caleb said. “My dad is a great coach, but I feel like he’s harder on us than the other kids, but I also know why it seems that way. Our dad has accomplished so much, and he wants the same for us. I want my dad to know that I am incredibly grateful for that. I love him so much.”
Caden said, “Yeah my dad is the best. I remember when we were little, he also had time for us, no matter what. I remember playing basketball with him. My dad is a great man. I’m thankful for him every day.”
Prichard said he is hard on his boys. “I know what they can do, and sometimes it takes that little push. I try to be the best for my family. That is why I am going on to finish college. I plan to graduate West Texas A&M when my oldest graduates from high school, and then I’m going for my master’s degree and hopefully, God willing, I will graduate with a master’s degree when my middle son graduates high school.
“I want the kids to know life is short. Live your life for today because tomorrow isn’t promised. Never give up. Grab the bull by the longhorns and hold on because each one of them is greatness.”