By Dan Hardenbrook
For the second time this school year, there’s a new face at the helm of the Engadine Athletic Department. Although new to the position, Engadine’s new athletic director is familiar to many. Engadine alum Charlie Fosdick has taken over, replacing Edwina Garries. Garries was hired last summer to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of longtime AD and Student Services Coordinator Deb Dewyse.
Fosdick was hired in late February and thrown right into the fire. His first week on the job featured rescheduled dates in boys and girls basketball and a rivalry matchup between the Lady Eagles and Lady Indians in one of his first home events in charge.
The following week featured three rounds of MHSAA District Tournament games. But Fosdick is settling in nicely.
“I took the varsity football coaching job in the fall, and I always thought about doing something like this,” Fosdick said. “I enjoy going to all of the games and supporting the teams. My heart is in it, so it just felt right.”
The region has had a high turnover rate in athletic director positions in the past few years, a trend that follows for many districts around the state. Fosdick says it’s always been something he could see himself doing.
The biggest challenges are behind the scenes that many fans don’t see.
“You’re dealing with coaches, other athletic directors, parents, students, and teachers,” Fosdick said. “There also is never a set schedule. There is always something going on all of the time.” Falling student participation and a growing concern over the availability of officials are also high-ranking issues.
“Participation is a big problem in small schools,” Fosdick said. “You have some kids who may want to play a single sport or try something, but in small schools you need them to play multiple sports in a year just to field teams and keep programs going. It’s the same with officials.” Fosdick wants to implement a local training program that gets kids involved at lower levels so they can become registered officials after they graduate.
He’s also trying to get as many kids participating as possible. Engadine has a long tradition of making sports programs and events a centerpiece of the local communities, and Fosdick wants to see that continue.
His message to current or potential student athletes in the Engadine district is to give everything a shot.
“Go out and try it,” he said. “In high school you only have four years to do things like this. Especially in a small school, it’s really important to get out and try as many things as you can before you graduate.”