With a son entering high school in a different school district, plus 10- and 8-year-old daughters involved in swimming, West York baseball coach Roger Czerwinski said the time was right to step down from the Bulldogs' program after seven years at the helm and two state championships.
Czerwinski, who spent the last few days informing his team and assistant coaches of his decision, is staying on as the West York athletic director, a position he has held for nine years.
"I did a lot of praying over Memorial Day weekend," he said. "I talked to my wife and realized there was no better time."
Czerwinski said he is enjoying coaching his son Cameron's summer league team, something that serves as a reminder of how much time he puts into the game for the high school team. He also admitted it would be very difficult coaching against Cameron if and when he would move up to varsity baseball at Red Lion.
"The more I am involved with summer teams and travel teams, the more I am seeing that time is so precious and I need to think about that," he said. "This is the first opportunity to coach (Cameron's) teams, Legion and travel. I am having an absolute blast going back to basics, teaching eighth- and ninth-graders the fundamentals of the game."
The Bulldogs have had tremendous success under Czerwinski, including winning PIAA Class AAA championships in 2012 and 2013. But that's not all he will remember when he looks back over his career in which his teams won 154 games while losing only 63.
"I think that's going to come with time," he said. "While we've had success on the diamond, the thing I have cherished most is we had 39 kids graduate from the program, 35 went on college, and 28 played collegiate sports."
Some of West York's players have earned scholarships at the NCAA Division I level, including Kaden Hepler (Winthrop) and 2015 West York graduate Brett Kinneman (N.C. State).
West York finished 16-5 this season, winning both a YAIAA Division II title and the league tournament title. The 2015 Bulldogs season closed in the opening round of the District 3 playoffs when Daniel Boone scored 13 runs in the ninth inning en route to a 19-6 win.
After spending much of his early career in private school education, being a part of the West York community is also something Czerwinski said he will treasure.
"The relationships we've been able to establish with our kids are much more long lasting than the state titles," he said. "It's an honor to be a part of any championship team, be it league, division or state, but getting to know the kids and the community is tremendous.
"West York will always be a part of me. This place means so much to me. I've never had the public school feel, or community feel. People bought in to what we were trying to do and from there it took off. The stewardship the kids did, those memories make it so special."
Stepping down from coaching will also allow Czerwinski more time to focus on his duties as athletic director.
He credited many people from assistant baseball coaches to West York employees Terry Bupp and Bryan Gross, who served as game managers when he was away from school.
Reach Steve Navaroli at 771-2060.