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Custer steps down as Wildcats coach

November 12, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

When Williamsport opens the 2009 football season, Adrian Custer will be in the seats with his boys watching the Wildcats.

Custer is stepping down as head coach of the Wildcats after six seasons, but has no plans on leaving the area.

"It's hard to take the coaching out of a coach and I'd love to coach my boys some day, but right now I'm just going to enjoy taking them to the games," said Custer, coming off a 3-7 season.

"I've got a 4-year-old and a 4-month-old, so its time to let someone else take over the program and for me to take over my family," said Custer.

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The 33-year-old physical education teacher served as an assistant under Eric Michael and then took over the reins in 2003, winning only once in each of his first two years. His high-water marks were four-win seasons in 2005 and 2007 as he compiled a 15-45 career record.

"I love Williamsport and I've dedicated my career to Williamsport High School," he said. "I love the kids. They always have given the effort on the field."

Custer said one of the things he'll most miss about coaching is the camaraderie that he developed with players.

"You can start with kids being with them on Monday morning to the bus ride home on a Friday night," he said. "Talking to them about their lives ... I'll miss the coach's office, in and out of practice and their fellowship."

While wins were tough to come by against the likes of Boonsboro and Smithsburg -- and when North and South Hagerstown were in the MVAL Antietam -- Custer felt positive about the potential of the Wildcats program, based on the number of kids in the system.

"When I first started we didn't have 60 in the program and we did not have a freshman team," he said. "We were struggling and at times didn't have a JV team. But now, in the past couple of years, we are a full program. We've got 115 down to the ninth grade.

"We didn't have wins on the board so that is disappointing, but from the number of participants, I'm satisfied," Custer said. "As a teacher, you want them to experience Friday night football."

Custer said he would continue to work with players through the end of the school year in training them for the next head coach.

"I think the dedication of an entire group of players in the weight room hurt us," said Custer. "There was always a good core, but you need the whole group buying into it."

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