Wagaman, Emrhein receive Grosh Awards

By on June 10, 2015
Warwick seniors Adam Wagaman (left) and Marleise Emrhein (right) are the recipients of this year’s Dr. Joseph W. Grosh Scholarship Awards. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Warwick seniors Adam Wagaman (left) and Marleise Emrhein (right) are the recipients of this year’s Dr. Joseph W. Grosh Scholarship Awards. (Photo by Mike Shull)

“Tenacious” was a word that could describe seniors Marleise Emrhein and Adam Wagaman in their athletic and academic careers at Warwick High School.

If it came to learning a new skill which would improve her overall game, Emrhein, who received eight varsity letters in field hockey and girls lacrosse, was driven to master that ability.

For Wagaman, a knee injury suffered during football season delayed his start to the hoops campaign, but his focus to return to the hardwood floor was nothing short of admirable.

“Boy, if there’s something (Marleise) can’t do,” Warwick field hockey coach Bob Derr said of Emrhein, “she’s going to go after it and keep after it.”

Jeff Landis, who resigned in March as the Warwick boys basketball coach, said of Wagaman, “He was someone you enjoyed coaching because of how hard he worked and he just did things the right way.”

Together, Emrhein and Wagaman made for deserving recipients of the Warriors’ top athletic honor, the Dr. Joseph W. Grosh Scholarship Award, at Warwick’s Senior Athlete Recognition and Awards Dessert Social last Wednesday, June 3.

“I was extremely humbled and honored that I was picked for that,” Emrhein said of winning the award. “There are so many talented athletes at Warwick and so many great students, so many great people and that I was picked out of them was amazing.”

“I was very surprised,” Wagaman said. “I know there was a lot of good competition for the award, many great students applied for it and I was just honored to find out that I had received it.”

The award is a $500 one-time stipend, honoring one male and one female student-athlete for outstanding achievement on the athletic field in multiple sports 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.

As Emrhein and Wagaman acknowledged, balancing the academics and athletics in high school wasn’t an easy task.

“It was hard,” said Emrhein, who will be continuing her field hockey career at the University of Michigan. “Unfortunately, I had to make a lot of sacrifices. There were times when my friends wanted to get together and do something and lots of times, I had to say, ‘Sorry, I can’t.’ I had many late nights trying to study and figure things out. It was hard, but it was worth it. I would never want to give up the experiences that I had.”

Added Wagaman, “It’s a huge time commitment to all the sports, plus then to succeed in school, like you said, there’s a lot of people pulling for your time and it is quite difficult to balance it. But when you enjoy your classes, your sports, teammates, coaches, and teachers, it’s a joy.”

A four-year starter for the Lady Warriors’ field hockey team, Emrhein was named Second-Team All-State in her junior and senior seasons, finishing second all-time in goals scored in program history. In her senior campaign, she finished with 17 goals and seven assists while helping Warwick advance to the District Three Triple-A quarterfinals.

“As a scorer, I’ve had coaches say to me that their main job was to make sure that somebody was on her and don’t let her get open,” Derr said of Emrhein, who also holds the school record for most goals scored in a season and is tied for the most goals tallied in one game. “If you let her get open and free, and if she has the ball on her stick and takes a shot … oh yeah, it’s going to be dangerous. That was the thing that made her such a tremendous attribute on the team was her ability to score and put the ball in the cage.”

It wasn’t her only attribute, however.

Both Derr and Warwick girls lacrosse coach Lydia Burk certainly appreciated Emrhein’s coachability. In field hockey, she mastered the skill to hit the ball where she wanted both on the reverse stick and forehand on penalty corners.

“Not too many players can do that,” Derr said. “That’s a very high-level skill. But like I said, her tenacity, boy, she just goes after it until she gets it done. That’s the kind of person she is. She’s definitely going to be missed.”

She also got things done quite nicely in the classroom, finishing with a GPA of 4.07 and receiving the school’s A. Landis Brackbill Award. Emrhein achieved distinguished honor roll every semester from seventh through 12th grade and was a member of various school organizations, including the National Honor Society.

“Marleise (who finished with 90 career goals in lacrosse) is an all-around student-athlete,” Burk said. “Academically, she is a major success in school and I know she was in a lot of high-level classes. To be able to do that and balance two sports, both of which she was varsity for four years, is a pretty awesome ability. She is just someone who can go out onto the field and do what needs to be done and she is a wonderful field off the field and is always very encouraging.”

Derr echoed those words about Emrhein’s caring nature toward other people and her ability to lead by example.

“When she gets to practice, it’s all business and she works hard at it,” Derr said. “There’s no messing around, and even outside of hockey, she’s just a wonderful young lady. She cares about her teammates and cares about the people around her and is always wanting to help. If she has an opportunity to help, she will do that.”

The respect that Emrhein had from her teammates and coaches was also something that Wagaman earned in football, basketball and track & field.

“There’s no one else more deserving (of the Grosh Award),” Warrior track coach Alex Daecher said of Wagaman, who plans to attend Lebanon Valley College, where he will play football and compete on the track and field team. “He’s a great student and I don’t know many people who can be a captain of all three sports their senior year. You don’t see three-sport athletes anymore, let alone being a captain of all three. It tells you a lot about what his coaches and what his teammates thought of him. I think that speaks volumes of one of the reasons he got the Grosh Scholarship is that he’s well-respected by his coaches and his peers.”

Each of coaches, in fact, were unanimous in saying that Wagaman simply did things the right way.

In football, Wagaman was a Section One First-Team offensive tackle and a Second-Team defensive end, finishing with 22 solo tackles, a team second-best 82 tackle points and two sacks (tied for team-high) last fall. He was selected to play in the Tri-County All-Star game and was the team’s scholar-athlete winner.

“If you want to look at somebody who’s a student-athlete, he’s it,” Warrior football coach Bob Locker said of Wagaman, who finished with a 4.19 GPA and was on National Honors Society and distinguished honor roll every semester at Warwick High School. “Very dedicated athletically, worked very hard to become successful as a football player. I don’t want to speak for other sports, but if you look at the fact that he’s an All-Section football player and transitions to basketball, where he has a specific role &tstr; you never saw him complain, he just did his very best to help the team. That’s the kind of kid he is. Obviously academically, he’s unbelievably solid and he conducts himself the way we look to have our athletes conduct themselves. Great work ethic, good leader on the field. Obviously the fact that the kids picked him to be one of the captains reflects that. He played the game hard, but never mouthed off. He conducted himself with class and dignity.”

On the basketball court, where the Warriors finished 14-9 this winter and advanced to the District Three Quad-A playoffs, Wagaman worked hard to recover from a knee injury and was a team player from the get-go.

A 6-foot-3, 230-pound center, he scored 32 points and grabbed 47 rebounds as a senior.

“He did whatever you asked,” Landis said. “He never complained, even though he could have had a greater role, I think, if he didn’t start the season injured. Nate Miller kinda drifted into his spot and Adam continued to cheer for Nate even when Adam came back. He just has a lot of qualities that are very admirable in anyone, but especially in a high school athlete.”

Work ethic, included.

“He worked hard to come back from his injury and I think everyone saw that,” Landis said. “We wanted to ease him back into it, but he wanted to go right away when he was able to go full bore. And he was someone you enjoyed coaching because of how hard he worked. He just did things the right way.”

In track & field, Wagaman became one of the L-L League’s premier throwers as a senior, winning League bronze and shattering a 16-year-old record in the shot put with his heave of 55 feet, 1 inch. That topped Nick Watt’s throw of 54-8 1/2 in 1999.

He also set the meet record at the Millersville Invitational.

“He’s a hard-working kid &tstr; it’s evident on the field and in the classroom,” Daecher remarked. “He’s just a really good kid. He works his tail off at everything he does … School always came first, but he always made sacrifices to be able to do the sports stuff too.”

Leadership-wise, Wagaman handled that responsibility with class as well.

“It was a very unique situation having seven seniors,” Landis recalled, “they all took turns at being the captain and they all handled it in a very mature manner. Adam was one of the kids that definitely assumed some quiet leadership on the bench and in the game.”

Daecher added, “Coaching him for two of the three sports (including football), he had some difficult situations to deal with being a captain too. It wasn’t just going out for a coin toss. There were some times where he his character was tested and I think he made good decisions.”

Wagaman also made good decisions with his service to the community, including volunteering with Special Olympics, the Lititz Fourth of July celebration, the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Habitat for Humanity, serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, and serving soup to those in need through the Souper Bowl of Caring over the past six years. He has also served on numerous mission trips including to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Atlantic City after Hurricane Sandy and will be heading to Detroit next month.

“He’s a great kid who does a lot for others,” Landis said.

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