SPARTA, NJ – Two Spartans were inducted into the Sussex County Sports Hall of Fame. Last week friends and family and county notables gathered in the ballroom of the Lake Mohawk County Club to honor the most recent class of inductees.
Andrew Lowery, Sparta High School soccer coach and tennis coach was inducted with Suzanne, his wife of 33 years and his family looking on.
“This is all about the relationships that have been created throughout the years,” Lowery said. “I have gotten to coach great kids.”
During his coaching career Lowery was named Coach of the Year for Soccer by the New Jersey Herald, the Star Ledger, the Daily Record and Sports Beat eight times.
Lowery began coaching the boys’ soccer program in 1993. The Head Coach until 2013, Lowery put together a record of 297-97-18. Adding in Lowery’s three years coaching at Ramsey his overall record climbs to 350-126-20.
In the spring Lowery was the assistant coach for the boys tennis team for 12 years putting with a record of 155-5. He is looking forward to his third year as head coach for the girls varsity team.
During his 20 years coaching at Sparta, Lowery had teams win 14 SCIL titles and chosen Team of the Year nine times. After realignment Sparta won the North II, Group III Sectional title in 1995 and the only Sussex County Tournament Title.
Lowery, an English teacher for 32 years, has said he is most proud of his teams having earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for 15 years in a row. The team grade point average was higher than 3.25 during the season. The Sparta team also got national honors with an average GPA of 3.7 putting them in the top 10% in the country.
Lowery earned Coach of the Year honors for North II from the Soccer Coaches Association of New Jersey in 2004.
“Time goes by and the players become your peers and your friends,” Lowery said. “They are the biggest family you could ever want.”
Lowery’s player David Boutilier was also inducted that evening. The 1998 Sparta High School graduate was not able to attend. Boutilier and his wife Megan welcomed a new baby who arrived earlier than expected. He will be on the program next year to receive his honor according to Master of Ceremonies and Vice President Dan Cleary.