Oswald honored with dedication of field

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2002

Charles Oswald of Greenville recently was honored at South Sumter High School in central Florida with the dedication of the baseball field.

The field is now marked with a plaque recognizing Oswald for his 33 years at South Sumter. He served as assistant baseball coach for seven years and as head coach for 26 years. He also coached junior high football and basketball, junior varsity football with back-to-back perfect seasons and varsity football as assistant coach.

During his coaching career, Oswald earned 10 district championships, three regional championships, second place in the 1978 state tournament and was recognized as the 1978 Florida High School Coach of the Year.

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Oswald said he went to South Sumter to teach math and "ended up staying 33 years. They treated me right and I couldn't ask for anything else," he said. "They are unbelievable people."

He said he feels the best thing about coaching is seeing players succeed. "It's great when you see a boy you've been working with all of a sudden get it.' One of my greatest memories is when I had a player who was named the player of the year for the state of Florida. His grades were not so great, so I helped him get a scholarship to a junior college. He was named the junior college player of the year in Florida, ended up getting a scholarship to the University of South Florida (USF) and was named the USF Athlete of the Year."

That player was Randy Wilson. He is now a high school coach in Florida.

Oswald said another great part of being a coach is having players call or come back to tell their success stories.

The coach has now been retired for five years and says he helped coach a 13 and 14-year old baseball team with the Greenville Recreation Department this season and will now help coach the all-star team for that league.

He said that these days, he simply "stays relaxed." He is now living back here in his hometown of Greenville and has one daughter, Magan, who will be a sophomore at South Sumter this year. She plays the saxophone in the school's band.

Oswald is a 1959 graduate of Greenville High School, where he played baseball and was a member of the math team.

He said he is very thankful for the dedication of the field and would especially like to thank Gerald Thompson, a good friend from Greenville. He said the two of them go to many ball games together and have always been really close buddies.'