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'Soccer Mom' named Parent of the Year by association

April 02, 2001

'Soccer Mom' named Parent of the Year by association



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Jill Fowkes takes her role as the Hagerstown Soccer Club's "Team Mom" seriously.

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At each game, she can be seen on the sidelines videotaping the action and cheering on the club's team, the Stingrays.

Before the game, she is busy arranging rides, providing supplies of water and oranges and even lining the field with chalk when necessary.

Stingray Coach Joe Burger called Fowkes an "unsung hero" for her dedication and tireless efforts for the all-girl team.

"She takes care of the whole organization," said Burger.

To show his appreciation, Burger nominated Fowkes for the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association's Parent of the Year award.

She received the award during a soccer conference at Towson State University near Baltimore in March.

"It's great. It was a total shock," said Fowkes, who now is eligible for a national soccer parent competition.

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Fowkes not only helps the team because her daughter Shannon, 12, is a member, but also because of her love for the sport, she said.

"Jill operates at a truly amazing level of energy and enthusiasm, which is contagious to anyone who has the pleasure of working with her," said Burger in his nomination letter to the state association.

Burger went on to credit Fowkes for handling the teams' accounting, uniforms, fund-raisers, field maintenance and transportation needs.

Fowkes has a passion for promoting girls youth soccer, he said.

"Jill Fowkes' smiling face, constant support and tireless energy make her the heart and soul of the Stingray team. She is an inspiration to the coaches, players and families of our organization," he said in his nomination letter.

When discussing the award last week, Fowkes downplayed her role in the soccer organization.

"It's just a control thing. Somebody has to be in charge and do whatever needs to be done. It's little stuff but it takes time," she said.

Fowkes' humility is typical, said Burger.

"Because of Jill's humbleness, she's never one to accept credit for her efforts. But she remains to be the backbone, heart and soul of the Hagerstown Stingrays girls' soccer team," said Burger in his letter.

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