Lowery, Cater honored at Sports Breakfast
CHARLES TOWN – When John Lowery and Doug Williams ended up in an elevator together on Saturday, it seemed fitting that the two were heading upward to the top-floor ballroom of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town races.
After all, both have been to the top of their respective sports – Lowery as Jefferson baseball coach and Williams as starting quarterback with the Washington Redskins.
So has Shepherd football coach Monte Cater, who, along with Lowery, was honored during the Celebrity Sports Breakfast where Williams was the guest speaker. The two local coaches were recognized, in part, for being named winners of the Furfari Award and VanMeter Award, which are given out to the state’s top college and high school coaches.”I appreciate this a lot,” Cater said to a large crowd.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this, especially with those guys. It’s a great event, and it’s for a good cause, to help out Berkeley County Senior Services,” Lowery said.
The success of Cater and Lowery, who have a combined 81 years in coaching and several records in the state of West Virginia, even had Williams, most valuable player of Super Bowl XXII, in awe.
“I’m considered the celebrity, but Coach Lowery and Coach Cater are the real celebrities,” Williams said. “I always say, ‘Give me your roses while you’re alive,’ and these guys deserve more than their roses because of what they done. You’re talking about one guy who’s been coaching for 35 and the other for 46 years. Just imagine how often you’re dealing with other people’s kids. That in itself, for that long, is impressive.”
When both coaches were introduced, a list of their accomplishments was read to the crowd and induced a few gasps at how much success each had.
For Cater, it includes 253 career wins, including 222 during his 29 years at Shepherd, the most by a coach at any collegiate level in West Virginia. During his time, the Rams have also earned 15 conference titles, including a record 13 in the now-defunct WVIAC, two Super Region 1 titles and an appearance in the NCAA Division II championship game this past fall.
Cater has done more than his share of winning at Shepherd, something he was somewhat threatened with when he interviewed for the job.
“I was told, ‘If you don’t win, you won’t be here long,'” he said. “There was great tradition at Shepherd when I got here, and I’m proud of the fact that our staff, our players, all the guys, they’ve kept that going.
“Like Cater, Lowery has done things no other baseball coach in the state has done, including win a record 12 state championship, mostly recently on June 4. His career win total of 1,258 is ranked nationally among active coaches at third overall, and he’s led the Cougars to 30 sectional titles and 24 regional titles all the while being named coach of the year 22 times at various levels.
“Like I said before, it takes a lot of people to make everything happen. It’s truly a community effort and a community experience,” Lowery said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot success with our program, and I’ve just been at the right place at the right time throughout the years.
“Neither coach shows signs of stopping any time soon, and with strong teams back next season, there could be more titles in the future.
“We don’t promise anything other than going out there and doing our best and taking it one game at a time,” Lowery said.