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March 11, 2014

Schwerzler Steps Down at Grassfield

Since the Chesapeake school opened in 2007, the Grassfield Grizzlies have had only one Head Basketball Coach. When the 2014-15 campaign gets underway, they will have a new Head Coach as Andy Schwerzler turned in his resignation on Monday afternoon, he confirmed to VirginiaPreps.com.

A graduate of Kent State University, Schwerzler went 47-101 in seven seasons at Grassfield. Prior to his arrival there, he served as the Head Girls Basketball Coach at Great Bridge High School, where he also was the J.V. Boys Basketball Coach.

Schwerzler, 53, decided to step away for personal reasons and a chance to spend more time with his family.

"My son is coming up and getting ready to go through the program. He'll be an eighth grader next year. I've been doing this for a long time. I kind of felt it was better not to be his coach, and give another coach to get in for a little bit of time," Schwerzler told VirginiaPreps.com on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's not that I don't want to and I try to help coach him a little bit now where he's at, but it's hard. It gives him another opportunity with somebody else. With the new rules with the VHSL, it's so much time. I need to focus with him some and help prepare him for his future. I want to continue to coach and still might. We'll see."

The Grizzlies went 10-14 overall this past season, matching their best record from the 2010-11 campaign. For the first time ever, Grassfield won a postseason game when they beat Western Branch, 53-50 in the quarterfinals of the Monitor-Merrimac Conference 2 Tournament. Their season ended in the conference tournament semifinals against top-seeded Woodside, falling 84-64.

Most of the Grassfield's nucleus from last season returns, and there are enough athletes in the building Schwerzler believes for them to be very competitive real soon.

"These guys are ready next year to make a real strong move. There are enough guys back and there's talent," he said. "We won some tough games this year, won some big games and beat people that people didn't think we'd beat. There were some games out there you look out there on the court where we'd have three sophomores and two juniors playing."

Schwerzler becomes the third Head Coach to step down in the past month, following Rick Hite at Group 3A perennial power Petersburg and Geoff McCulloch at Group 1A title contender West Point, which lost in the State Championship game a season ago to Radford.

Like Hite, McCulloch decided to walk away after three seasons at the helm. He also wasn't the only Head Basketball Coach at West Point to put in his resignation as Mark Ware, the Head Girls Basketball Coach at the school, did likewise after 17 years on the job.

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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