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Dwight Fitzwater is the new head coach for the California Middle School softball team.

Fitzwater has already been a softball coach at the high school level — he spent 12 years at California and one year at Cuba. He was the softball head coach for only one of those years.

Fitzwater was also a baseball coach for 29 years, including 17 years as the head coach for the California baseball team.

Fitzwater said he is happy to take on the head coach role.

"I think it is going to be a lot of fun," Fitzwater said. "It is similar to baseball. It is a little bit faster pace game, and it gets going faster. I think the girls in the past have worked hard, and I think they have been a lot of fun to work with."

Coaching at the middle school level is different than coaching at the high school level, he said.

"It will be quite a bit more basic," Fitzwater said. "But for the most part, softball is softball, and the fundamentals (are) the same. It will be a challenge for me because I am used to a little more advanced, and I just have to scale back.

"I have coached this level before, as my daughter played, and I coached her teams when she was coming up."

Going into this year, Fitzwater said the team is going to focus on the fundamentals.

"We are going to stress fundamentals real hard," Fitzwater said. "I think it is critical at the younger age, and we do work on other things a little more advanced as you get older. But my main goal is to teach them the game of softball and the proper way to do all the different positions and techniques."

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