Warrior Award winners offer stories of inspiration

By on July 8, 2015


Warrior Award winners (left to right) Brogan Galbreath and Avery Quinn, who tied for the boys honor, and Sarah Deckard were models of perseverance in their athletic careers at Warwick. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Warrior Award winners (left to right) Brogan Galbreath and Avery Quinn, who tied for the boys honor, and Sarah Deckard were models of perseverance in their athletic careers at Warwick. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Sarah Deckard and Brogan Galbreath overcame adversity in their athletic careers at Warwick.

Avery Quinn was a model of perseverance.

All were and are true stories of inspiration.

But that’s not the only thing the Warwick Class of 2015 graduates have in common.

The three took home this year’s Warrior Awards, presented at the Warwick Senior Athlete Recognition and Awards Dessert Social on Wednesday, June 3. Five male student-athletes received votes for the award, but Galbreath and Quinn tied atop the list and shared the honor.

“This award is voted by the coaches and athletic department,” Warwick Athletic Director Ryan Landis said. “It is given to the person that best represents what it means to be a warrior.”

As Warwick swim coach Mark Daum noted, each person probably has their own opinion of what the Warrior Award entails. But when talking about Deckard, Daum described some impressive qualities.

Despite battling health and injury issues throughout her career, Deckard never lost her positive attitude.

“I nicknamed her ‘Accident’ because it was like, what’s next,” Daum joked. “Was she a superstar? No. But she made it a point to always make it to every practice if she physically could do it, and even when she couldn’t swim because of injury, surgery or whatever, she was still at the meets supporting the kids. I don’t think she really looked at it as most of us would look at things and say, ‘Oh my, why me?’ She just was like, ‘OK, it’s just another day and I’ll get over this hurdle and move on with my life.’ I mean, her attitude was really good through the whole thing.”

Deckard swam mostly freestyle events for the Lady Warriors, who finished 7-1 this past winter, losing only to Manheim Township.

“She was definitely one of those proverbial takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” Daum said. “I think anybody lesser would have said, ‘OK, enough is enough. I’m done.’ But she came back every year and gave it everything she had.”

Galbreath gave everything he had for the Warwick boys’ lacrosse team, recording a team-high 39 goals in 20 games as the Warriors went 14-6 and won their first-ever District Three playoff game. Considering that he is currently battling Crohn’s Disease &tstr; a condition he was diagnosed with just before his sophomore lacrosse season &tstr; the fact that he was still able to play at an All-Star level was impressive, to say the least. As part of his treatment, Galbreath receives infusions every eight weeks.

“For me, (a warrior) is somebody that looks at adversity and rather than seeing it as an obstacle, they see it as an opportunity and Brogan did just that,” Warwick boys lacrosse coach Wayne Hummer said. “It’s one thing just to be there after something like that &tstr; these injections knock him down significantly in terms of energy. He didn’t miss a practice due to them. In fact, he competed at a high level. He didn’t miss games. He didn’t just make the games, he actually contributed to the team’s effort in a really big way.”

Having his teammates around him was a tremendous support system for Galbreath.

“That was a big help,” he acknowledged. “None of them really knew I was going through it, but having them there still was just helpful for me and I think that’s part of the reason why coach Hummer thought it was a good reason to nominate me.”

In addition to receiving Honorable Mention as an attack in his senior campaign, Galbreath, a three-year varsity letter-winner who plans to attend Villanova University and study biology, was also one of just six honorees from the Central Penn chapter to be named to the U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American Team.

Plus, he was a captain for the Warwick ice hockey club and recorded 22 points (3rd on the team) with 11 goals and 11 assists in 16 games this past winter. He was a two-time All-Star for the Warriors.

“When I look at him, I see somebody that has every right in the world to just say, ‘Well, I’m tired, I just want to lay down, I just want to sit down.’ He doesn’t,” Hummer said. “He takes it a step further to lead the team. He’s one of our captains. He competed at a high level on the field, he operates at a high level in the classroom and in every day life, in all walks, and on top of that he does quite a bit of volunteer work.”

Some of his off field endeavors included serving as class treasurer and a member of student council.

“In my mind, if I have a resume of somebody that is very deserving to be a warrior, Brogan is going to be one of the first that pops into my mind,” Hummer said.

Galbreath was honored just to be considered for the Warrior Award.

“Coach (Hummer) told me that he had nominated me for it and it meant a lot (coming) from him, just through the years him coaching me and making me a better lacrosse player,” he said. “And it meant a lot to me that he thought so highly of me and thought that I deserved it. It was just great getting a nomination and then ending up winning it.”

There were a lot of people who thought very highly of Quinn, too, for his accomplishments in high school while playing football and competing for the Warrior wrestling team.

Although Quinn might not have had as much natural talent as others, his work ethic was second to none. He won just one match as a junior high grappler. But thanks to a lot of blood, sweat and tears, he turned himself into a starting lineman on the football team and a District Three wrestling qualifier this past February.

Quinn said that winning the Warrior Award came as a surprise.

“I went (to the awards social) thinking that it was just a cool thing to end out my sports year &tstr; I really wasn’t expecting to win anything,” Quinn said. “So it was just a really cool surprise and I was very honored to win that.”

It didn’t come without a price.

“A lot of hard work and a lot of off-season practice,” Quinn said of the formula for developing himself as an athlete. “In the summer and off-season, I would do ladders for football and sometimes I’d just be in the basement or around the house and I’d practice my standup escapes in wrestling. I’d go to camp and lift extra for football and wrestling. It was always trying to focus and work harder in the off-season to make sure I was ready.”

Warwick football coach Bob Locker described Quinn as a role model.

“My understanding of the Warrior Award is a kid who may not be a superstar, but who’s put in a tremendous amount in terms of work to achieve,” Locker said. “The kid just got the most out of himself and I don’t know anybody who ever outworked him in the weight room. He just went about things the right way, he played with a little bit of attitude when he played football and just went after it.”

Nobody outworked him in the wrestling room either.

“He’s just a tremendous kid,” Warrior wrestling coach Ned Bushong said of Quinn, who plans to attend Shippensburg University and study broadcast communications. “He’s done so much to improve. His willingness to work (was key) in the amount that he has improved and it was all dedication.”

When the dust settled, Quinn had 35 tackle points as a senior on the gridiron and a 32-15 record on the mats in his final season.

“He did so much extra that most kids aren’t willing to do,” Bushong said. “He stayed after practice every night and did extra work. And if there’s another kid there and he needs help, he was willing to do it. I mean, those are the kind of things you don’t find in everybody.”

As Bushong noted, the fact that Quinn stuck with the sport after a tough experience in junior high spoke volumes.

“Here’s a kid that won one match in junior high and he didn’t give up,” Bushong said. “He didn’t roll over and say, ‘It’s too tough. I’m going to quit.’ It’s just an absolutely major thing when you’re willing to work and improve, which he did. Those are the things you can’t take away from a kid. It’s great that he gets recognized for what he did. I’m just really super pleased that he got the recognition.”

Other award winners were:

* Abby Bomberger received Lititz Youth Soccer’s award, which was presented by Bob Kelly.

* Eleven student-athletes, including Madelyn Class, Marleise Emrhein, Amanda Graber, Will Howland, Jamie Martin, Alexa Mohler, Michael Perezous, Jaycie St. John, Connor Spangenburg, Adam Wagaman and Grant Zimmerman were honored for having earned either five letters or participated in seven seasons with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better.

* The E. Jerry Brooks Academic Excellence Medal, recognizing student-athletes with a cumulative GPA over 3.8 while playing at two sports in their senior year and earning at least three letters in high school, was presented to Abby Bomberger, Madelyn Class, Marleise Emrhein, Amanda Graber, Will Howland, Jamie Martin, Alexa Mohler, Michael Perezous, Connor Spangenburg, Adam Wagaman and Grant Zimmerman.

* District Three’s Fackler-Hower Sportmanship Award was presented to David Brubaker and Jaycie St. John.

* The Berkey Scholarship was presented by Mary Lou Berkey to Chase Martin and Grant Zimmerman.

* The newly-created Coaches’ Award was presented to Jerry McKonley. The award is given to a coach that the athletic department feels is a role model who consistenly shows an interest in improving the student-athletes as people and not just athletes.


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