By Mike Deak
SYRACUSE – There will be a changing of the guard for the 2022 Wawasee Summer League.
Current commissioner Jamie Beer has announced his resignation, and in his place, the league board has named Mike Fowler as his replacement. Fowler was ushered in on July 29 after serving for three years on the league board himself as well as holding coaching positions within the league.
“It has been really exciting to see the league grow,” Fowler stated. “I’m really looking forward to helping WSL grow, we have a lot of ideas that we are excited to get started.”
Fowler addressed one of the elephants in the room and a point of conversation (and contention) within the league, the exclusion of availability of Schrock Park in Syracuse in 2021 and the new potential build on Kern Road, as well as the happenings in North Webster.
“There are two big projects we are currently working on,” noted Fowler about future projects on the table. “The first is the new Schrock Athletic Complex, which we are hoping to have finished by the fall of 2022. We have also purchased the athletic complex in North Webster.”
Fowler also noted the league is continuing to find ways and reasons to generate and continue the rise in league participation, as well as enhancing the experience for those already participating with Wawasee.
“Our coaches put a lot of time and commitment into their teams and players,” Fowler said. “I believe that always helps retain players as well as adding new ones. A lot of the credit goes to all of our coaches, they build bonds with these athletes, they are making sure to keep it fun while also teaching basic fundamentals of the game and life lessons. We have focused recently on more than just softball and baseball.”
On the out is Beer, who has spent the past seven years working with the league, the last three as the commissioner. Beer has helped oversee the league expand a travel softball team, carry forward when Schrock Park was not made available, help guide the completion of the Webster diamond renovations, and keep the league steady during the pandemic in 2020, one of the first area leagues to commence last summer.
“I’ve been blessed to be a part of the league the last seven seasons now as a coach and then joining the board and then the last three as commissioner for the league,” started Beer. “Now with Mike stepping in as commissioner, everything is coming back full circle to where I started with the league and doing what I love, and that’s coaching my girls these last few seasons they have left in the league before they move on.
“We’ve got an amazing group of board members who all volunteer their time all year round to make sure we have everything in place for the players,” continued Beer. “Mike’s been a crucial part of this league first as a coach in softball and then these last three seasons since he joined the board as well as coaching. He’s done an amazing job working to help us grow the league in all of our divisions and always looking for ways to give back.”