Warrior Award goes to Weidemoyer, Engle
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
With Matt Engle and Greta Weidemoyer, their coaches at Warwick High School could always count on them.
Daily, they could expect those two student-athletes to give everything they had.
"She was one of the players that you didn’t want to take off the court at all," Warwick girls volleyball coach Jen Wanner said of Weidemoyer.
Warwick boys soccer coach Travis Steedle said of Engle, "He was a player where it didn’t really matter what the score was – if we were up 5-0 or if we were down 5-0, he was going to attack and he was going to go at people."
In the end, Engle and Weidemoyer, of the Warwick Class of 2013, made two excellent choices as winners of this year’s Warrior Award, which includes a $100 one-time stipend. The award is open to any senior athlete. They received the honor at the Warwick Scholar-Athlete Recognition and Awards Dessert Social on June 3.
Weidemoyer took home seven varsity letters in her career – four in girls volleyball and three in girls basketball. She plans to attend Lebanon Valley College, where she will play for the Lady Dutchmen’s volleyball squad.
Engle, meanwhile, earned five varsity letters – two in boys soccer and three in boys basketball. He is headed to St. Joe’s University, where he will play roller hockey.
"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. "I always like that award because they’re supposed to typify what Warwick athletics is about."
Both Wanner and Lady Warriors’ basketball coach Amy Derr described Weidemoyer as a natural leader, both on and off the floor.
"(Greta) is such a good kid," Derr said. "She’s just that great scholar-athlete and really has her priorities straight. I felt really fortunate this year to have the seniors that I had (including Meredith Michel and Madi Derr). She’s got a really good work ethic and she’s not a complainer at all. She’s just so deserving."
That work ethic helped her finish among the team leaders in scoring during hoops season with a 7.3 ppg average. In volleyball, Weidemoyer was a core part of the team as the Lady Warriors advanced to the L-L playoff semi-finals and District Three Triple-A quarterfinals last fall.
But her contributions went beyond what she brought between the white lines.
"She’s such a good all-around player and such a good role model and leader for the younger girls," Wanner said. "She’s just so athletic and has a great attitude. To me, she just had the total package. When Mr. Kosydar had said to coaches about nominating someone, she was immediately the first person that came to mind. From academics to her personal life and her volunteering to her love of the game, her work ethic … She’s a great, great kid."
That total package included being a positive influence and stepping up with clutch plays.
"She’s like the glue that holds people together on the court," Wanner said. "I don’t think the (Warrior Award) could have gone to a better athlete. "Mr. Kosydar had described it as an award that goes to a player that you want 10 of on your team. And I really felt that way about Greta."
Late in the basketball season, in fact, Weidemoyer didn’t want to come off the court, even after suffering a hard fall on her head in a loss against Ephrata on a Friday night.
"(Greta) smacked her head so hard," Derr said. "She got up right away and I took her out right away because I always like to check on kids whether they’re giving me the thumbs up or not. She was like, ‘I’m good, I want to go back in. I want to play.’ And I let her because I turned around to her parents and said, ‘She’s giving me the thumbs up,’ and they were like, ‘She’s good.’"
It wasn’t until later that weekend that Weidemoyer started experiencing concussion symptoms. She ended up missing four games due to the injury.
"She was then out for, I want to say at least 10 days, and that was such a bummer," Derr said. "We both felt bad. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that kid went out and just gave 100 percent.’ She was just like that. I can’t say enough about Greta."
Like Weidemoyer, Engle, too, play hurt. This past fall, the center striker/midfielder tried to play through a quad injury for the Warwick boys soccer team, but with the Warriors on their way to a disappointing 4-10-1 finish, Engle was eventually shut down with only a handful of games remaining.
"One of his greatest assets for us was his speed," Steedle said, "and with his quad being hurt, he really couldn’t hit that top gear like he’s used to. Late in the season, we were already out of the playoff picture, so the trainers and I kind of agreed that it’s better just to rest him and make sure he’s ready for the beginning of basketball season … He was just too injured to play and then you could see a level of drop in our offensive attack. We struggled to score goals once he was out."
The impact that he made for the Warriors didn’t go unnoticed, as Engle finished third in the L-L League’s MVP voting. Although he wasn’t necessarily a vocal player, Engle certainly led by example for the Warriors.
"Great character, great charisma," Steedle said. "I was happy to hear (Matt won the award). I think he deserved it … He was always giving everything he had, 100 percent effort all the time. And that was one of the most refreshing things on the team this past fall, watching him go at it like that."
That work ethic was also obvious on the basketball floor, where Engle led the team in scoring with 240 points (10.4 ppg). That included 12 double-digit scoring games, with a high of 24 in Warwick’s win over Conestoga Valley.
"Matt works extremely hard and he leads by example," Warwick boys basketball coach Jeff Landis said. "That was evident in pre-season, during the season … he never really changes his attitude ever. He’s always focused. If things are going bad, he plays hard. If things are going well, he plays hard. He doesn’t really change what his MO. He’s constantly making sure he’s the hardest worker on the floor."
With star Tyler Morris injured twice during the season, Engle often times had the ball in his hands when the Warriors needed points, in addition to guarding the opponent’s top player. He was a key reason that Warwick overcame a 3-7 start to qualify for the District Three Quad-A playoffs, where they suffered a loss to Central Dauphin in a play-in game.
"Matt knew that he had to score more in that situation (with Tyler hurt)," Landis said, "and sometimes it was harder because the floor wasn’t spread as well with Tyler’s ability to shoot it. But Matt always found a way. I think he even said it himself at one point during the season, ‘I never really thought scoring would be my primary function.’ But there were times we really needed him to. But he almost always guarded the other team’s best player and I think he took a lot of pride in trying to stop that person."
Besides his work ethic, Engle’s character and make-up were major elements in him receiving this year’s Warrior Award.
"His work ethic is superior, but he’s just such a good person," Landis said. "He would pick his teammates up and he could tell when they needed that. And he’s fun to be around. It will be weird with him not there next year because he’s been around for the last four years and he shows up early, works hard, stays late."
More AWARD, page B-2