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Sandy Creek softball coach Fowler retiring

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Bill Fowler is stepping down as the head softball coach at Sandy Creek.

Fowler guided the Comets to the state tournament in 10 of his 14 years at the helm, including the last three seasons.

He led the program to its second state championship in 2004 and the state title game in the 2007 and 2013 seasons.

“I don’t want to be outworked or out-prepared, so it’s got to be all or none for me,” Fowler said. “I really kind of got to a point where, I’ve been doing it a long time, and my wife (Val) and I are trying to get to a point in our life where we have a little more freedom.”

Fowler retires with 293 career victories.

He said the most difficult part of the process was walking away from his current players, many of whom he coached through youth softball.

“You build so many relationships,” Fowler said. “They know you’ll do anything for them, and they’ll do anything for me.

It’s got to end sometime regardless.’” Fowler added. “ … You truly do love your players and that’s the important part of it. You never forget that and that’s what makes coaching the best, in my opinion.”

Fowler — a sixth-grade math teacher in the Sandy Creek district — said he will coach the modified team next season.

“I want to stay involved with the program, so that’s a good way to do it,” he said. “The modified season is a little shorter and your summer hours aren’t as great.”

Fowler said he is unsure of who his successor might be, but said Katie Soluri (maiden name, Katie Hovey) would be a good candidate.

Soluri, a 1999 Sandy Creek graduate, played for the program’s first state title team in 1997 and was the long-time junior varsity coach before taking this past season off with a newborn baby.

Fowler also said Jonn Stoker, his top assistant of the past several years, would likely stay on as an assistant coach.

EMPIRE STATE CUP TO EXPAND

The third annual Empire State Cup is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 3 at various locations in Syracuse.

The event, formerly for high school boys lacrosse players, has added divisions for girls lacrosse (grades 9-12), developmental boys lacrosse (grades 6-8) and a 7-on-7 football division for high school players.

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