Good, Esbenshade win the Warrior Award
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
In their own separate ways, Warwick’s Jared Good and Brooke Esbenshade persevered.
As a third-year member of the Lady Warriors’ varsity soccer team, Esbenshade continued to work hard and finally broke into the starting lineup in her senior season.
Good, though limited to four games due to injuries as a senior with the Warriors’ football team, persisted and led by example.
It was those qualities, among others, which led to Esbenshade and Good receiving this year’s Warrior Award, which includes a $100 one-time stipend. The award, sponsored by H&L Team Sales, is open to any senior athlete.
"I tell the coaches, ‘Think of who you would want 10 of on your team, not necessarily always the best athlete or the MVP, but someone that will just do whatever it takes to help the team out,’" Warwick Athletic Director John Kosydar said.
Esbenshade and Good certainly met the criteria of being coachable and representing a warrior for their respective teams.
"I always like that award because they’re supposed to typify what Warwick athletics is about," Kosydar said. "From what I hear from their coaches, they were both willing to do anything to help the team. They were selfless individuals, which I think is great — when we have individuals like that competing on our sports teams, you can’t go wrong."
That selfless attitude was apparent even as they received the honor at the Warwick Scholar-Athlete Recognition and Awards Dessert Social on Monday, June 4.
"There were other guys just on my team alone that I think are just as worthy of getting this," Good said. "It’s a pretty big honor for me, especially considering I only played six games this year (due to injuries). When (the award was announced), I was pretty shocked. I’m definitely very glad that coach (Bob) Locker nominated me to get this and that he thought I deserved it. I’m very honored."
Esbenshade echoed those comments, saying, "It was definitely a surprise for me. I was not expecting it at all. It’s really significant for me because this was my first year on varsity and it was just really neat to be recognized. I’m not the best player on the team, but just to be recognized for the hard work I did off the field and stuff was definitely a big honor for me."
From her position at center back, she was a key part of Warwick’s defense which shut out Section Three champ Cocalico 2-0 and Section One champ Hempfield 1-0 in the opening two rounds of the L-L playoffs this spring, as the Lady Warriors advanced to the League finals.
"Brooke is, I think, the epitome of never giving up," Warwick soccer coach Mike Logan said. "In her senior year, she became a starter and she was actually an All-Star nominee from our team. A lot of kids would maybe have not persevered and she never gave up, she fought hard and she kept working hard and she had a phenomenal senior year."
That senior year actually began with Esbenshade playing at outside mid. But then with Logan wanting to capitalize on her quickness, he switched Esbenshade to outside back and then to center back.
"That was kinda different because that was my first time being center back for the team," said Esbenshade, who plans to study biology at Bloomsburg University, where she is undecided about playing soccer. "But it worked out."
Indeed, it did. Logan said that Esbenshade played every minute of every game probably over the second half of the season.
"She filled all the roles and never hesitated for a second," Logan remarked. "Whatever we asked her to do, she said, ‘Alright, I’m in,’ and ended up settling in as a center back and did an outstanding job. Her attitude is phenomenal in regard to her work ethic and her positive attitude. She has outstanding academics and is just a good all-around person. She’s very deserving (of the award). If you look at all the things that are a part of the Warrior Award, that’s her. The athletics, the academics, community service, positive attitude, work ethic, character and integrity … she has all the things that you want."
Ditto for Good.
At 5-foot-10, 211 pounds, he didn’t have the size that other linemen possess, but Good made up for that with a lot of hard work.
"When they started the award," Locker said, "they talked about finding somebody who may not be the biggest star on your team, but who has a tremendous work ethic, does the most with what he has, and quite simply is the kind of kid that you would say, ‘Man, I would take 10 of those.’ I think that pretty much exemplifies the kind of kid he is and was as a football player — not huge, but he got the most out of himself. He’s a tireless worker in the weight room and a very intelligent football player."
A two-year varsity letter winner for the Warriors, Good was off to a strong start this season when he suffered a high ankle sprain just five and a half minutes into Warwick’s Section One opener against Cedar Crest. Then, despite missing games against Ephrata, Manheim Township and Wilson, he still received Section One Honorable Mention accolades at guard.
"Jared motivated by being the kind of player you’d want on your team, led by example and played hurt a lot and never griped about it," Locker said. "He went out and practiced as hard as he could and did everything he could every day and did things the right way. He did everything we ever asked of him and played with a Warrior spirit."
Not surprisingly, Good was selected as one of the Warriors’ captains last fall, enabling him to exercise the lessons that he and others learned in off-season leadership courses with assistant coach Jerry McKonly. He was also an inspirational leader by playing hurt.
"I think when we talk to the younger kids about what kind of player do you want to grow up to be, they should look at somebody like him and see what he did, that he did play hurt," Locker said. "I knew it was killing him to miss those games and stuff, but he’s just a hard-nosed kid."
Good plans to attend Stevens Tech where he will study electrical technology. He is currently undecided about playing football for the Bulldogs.
"I can still make a decision on that, but as it stands right now, I don’t think it’s going to happen," Good said. "It’s only two years and I played with all my buddies here (at Warwick). It’s just different than it was for high school." More WARRIOR AWARD, page B-4