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Thompson, Ashworth win Grosh Scholarship Award
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
Seniors Bethany Ashworth and Deron Thompson had one thing in common on the athletic fields at Warwick.
Both possessed an engine that never stopped.
Not surprisingly, that drive led each athlete in putting up some big numbers for their respective squads during the 2010-11 year.
Ashworth led the Lady Warriors’ field hockey team in scoring with 17 goals and seven assists.
Thompson, meanwhile, became just the second L-L League running back ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a single regular season. In the end, he finished with 2,135 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns as Warwick qualified for Districts for the fourth time in five seasons.
It wasn’t only between the white lines that Ashworth and Thompson excelled, however. Both were also strong students inside Warwick’s halls and they were role models for their younger teammates.
And ultimately, they were fitting choices for the Warriors’ top athletics honor, the Dr. Joseph W. Grosh Scholarship Award, which was handed out at the annual Warwick Scholar-Athlete Recognition and Dessert Social on Monday night.
The Grosh Scholarship Award is a $500 one-time stipend, honoring one male and one female student-athlete for outstanding achievement on the athletic field and in the classroom, in addition to leadership abilities. To win the award, the student-athletes must be going on for post-secondary education, they need a gpa of 2.7 or higher, and they must have lettered at least one time in a varsity sport as a junior and twice as a senior.
Overall, Ashworth earned eight varsity letters during her high school career — four each in field hockey and lacrosse. Her speed and quickness were qualities that made her a dangerous offensive weapon in each sport, but her focus over the next four years at Division-I James Madison University will be field hockey.
The Lady Dukes will be getting a player who was named to the First-Team All-State, L-L All-League, Section One First-Team, and L-L All-Academic squads this year.
"You can’t teach speed," Warwick field hockey coach Bob Derr said. "You can work on technique and stuff, but speed is innate. Either you have it or you don’t. In her case, she had it, which just made her a more dangerous threat with the ball on the field as an attack player."
In addition to her quickness, Ashworth also brought a strong work ethic, which helped her develop into a well-rounded player. When the Warwick girls needed a goal-scorer on the forward line last fall, Ashworth stepped up from her midfield spot and filled that role.
"I remember her as a freshman, and she was a forward line player and that was pretty much it," Derr said. "But as she grew and developed, she was able to play forward and mid, which expanded her abilities because she became more of a thinker on the field and a leader on the field."
She also developed into what Derr considered a strong choice for the Grosh Award.
"She’ll be missed and I think she will have a good time at JMU," Derr said. "Academically, she’s very strong. She’s got academics, along with the athletic ability, which is a great combination, especially when it comes time to be recruited. Just even lifetime skills, she has developed a great deal of those."
Ashworth also led the Warwick girls lacrosse team in scoring this spring, connecting for 55 goals and five assists. In 2010, she was the Lady Warriors’ second-leading goal-scorer with 42 tallies and seven assists.
According to Warwick coach Eric Jeanes, Ashworth could have been successful in college in either field hockey or lacrosse.
"She’s a tremendous athlete with great speed, quickness and coordination," Jeanes said. "I also believe that she has gotten mentally tougher over the past few years as well. She is someone that the girls on our team could look to in difficult situations."
That was the case against L-S, when she scored eight goals to help Warwick (7-7 L-L, 8-8 overall) finish with a .500 record, and also against Cocalico, when she nearly brought the Lady Warriors back after trailing by seven goals until lightning halted the game.
"Bethany is a hard worker," Jeanes said. "She used her speed to be a threat in the midfield and on attack. She also provided great pressure when the other team had the ball in their defensive end. She was the pulse of our attack this year. As she went, so went our attack. She deserves the (Grosh) award because she’s someone that her teammates could look to in crucial situations."
Thompson, meanwhile, earned five varsity letters in his high school career — two each in football and basketball and one in baseball.
Following his senior season on the gridiron, he had to clear a lot of room on his mantle for the hardware he took home. He was named a Section One First-Team running back and the Section’s Offensive Back of the Year. But it didn’t stop there. Thompson was also received the Frantz-Rider-Yohe Award from the Lions Clubs of Columbia, E-town and Lititz as the outstanding player in Section One, in addition to being named to the Pennsylvania Football News/Coaches’ All-State Team and winning the Manheim Touchdown Club’s Player of the Year Award.
But outside of his accomplishments between the white lines, Warrior football coach Bob Locker said that Thompson epitomized what the Grosh Award entails.
"If you look at the definition of the Grosh Scholarship Award, it’s partially about athletic ability, but it’s also about gpa, being a student-athlete and the things you give outside of just athletics," Locker said. "They’re looking for a complete package and certainly they found that in somebody like Deron Thompson. He’s a great athlete and he obviously had an amazing senior football season. He’s an excellent high school basketball player and played both sports with great confidence and got the most out of himself."
He will continue to challenge himself at the next level as a preferred walk-on with the Penn State University football team. But he will leave a great legacy at Warwick as a hard worker and a great teammate.
"He practiced hard and played hard and was an excellent teammate to those around him," Locker said. "He had a way to help bring out the best in others on his team. You couple that with his excellence in the classroom and that’s the kind of person you’re looking for and he’s a very worthy recipient of the award."
On the basketball court, Thompson was a two-year starting guard for the Warriors, and in the 2009-10 season, he helped the WHS boys advance to the State playoffs for the first time since the 1988 campaign.
This past winter, Warwick had high expectations surrounding them and they struggled out of the gates with a 3-7 record. But Thompson was at the heart of getting them back to .500 and keeping their playoff hopes alive until the final night of the season.
"I think Deron’s desire to win was one of his greatest assets and he didn’t quit," Warrior boss Jeff Landis said.
At 5-foot-10 and despite playing against bigger kids, his work ethic was evident in the fact that he finished second on the squad in rebounding behind only 6-foot-6 Eric Leisey. He also led the team in assists — with nearly four per game — and he had 8.8 ppg.
"Deron’s very deserving (of the Grosh Award)," Landis said. "He put a lot of hard work into both sports and he does well in the classroom, so I was happy for him. Obviously, there’s a lot of good candidates this year, so it’s something he should be proud of." More GROSH AWARD, page B-6