Warwick Hall welcomes seven

By on August 24, 2016

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The Warwick Athletic Hall of Fame’s enrollment has grown by seven.

With the recent selection of the 2016 Class, there are now 22 members in the Hall, which was created three years ago.

Induction ceremonies for Warwick’s third class — Dr. Joseph Grosh, Kristin Harris (Peifer), Cathy Hevener (Erickson), Tracey Miller (Mearig), Jeff Rosenberger, Mike Roth and Mick Sload — will be held on Friday, Sept. 16 prior to the Warrior football team hosting Ephrata. Festivities get underway at 5 p.m. at Warwick Middle School

The pre-game reception is open to the public, at a cost of $5, where sandwiches and sides will be available. For anyone interested in attending the reception, please email Warwick Athletic Director Ryan Landis at rlandis@warwicksd.org. There will also be a ceremony at halftime of the football game.

From a list of 36 nominees, the Hall of Fame committee pared the candidates down to the top 12 vote-getters. From there, the 2016 Class was selected.

Dr. Joseph Grosh (left), shown here accepting an honor from Dr. John Bonfield (right), was known as a pioneer for sports medicine not only in the L-L League, but across the State.

Dr. Joseph Grosh (left), shown here accepting an honor from Dr. John Bonfield (right), was known as a pioneer for sports medicine not only in the L-L League, but across the State.

Dr. Joseph Grosh

Known as a pioneer for sports medicine in the league and state, Grosh became Warwick’s team doctor for Lititz High in 1947 and continued to serve in that role until 1983. It wasn’t just Warwick athletes who came to Grosh. Student-athletes from all over Lancaster County, in addition York and Berks, sought his expertise.

“I think it was forthcoming,” Dr. William Grosh said of his father’s Hall of Fame selection. “He was a premier pioneer in the whole thing around the county.”

The younger Grosh, in fact, still fondly recalls tagging along with his father in the early days of his career.

“I was a little boy when he first started and I’d take his doctor’s bag on and off the field and go in the locker rooms with him, go to games and all of that,” Bill recalled. “Then I practiced with him for I don’t know how many years. Sure, it will be an emotional thing (speaking at the Hall of Fame induction).”

Prior to stepping into the role of team for doctor for Lititz/Warwick, Dr. Joseph Grosh served as a combat surgeon in World War II. Nowadays, the Warriors’ football field is named in his honor and the Grosh Scholarship is awarded annually to the Warriors’ top male/female athlete.

Grosh’s impact included modifying casts to be able to get student-athletes on the field more efficiently, and helping to get trainers and medical personnel on the field to assist the injured players.

“In those days, the coaches initially took care of the injuries,” Bill said.

Fellow Warwick Hall of Famer and former Athletic Director Terry Kauffman was once quoted as saying, “He’s probably made more of an impact on the student-athletes at Warwick in the 35 years that he was team physician than any other individual.”

Cathy Hevener (Erickson)

Cathy Hevener (Erickson)

Cathy Hevener (Erickson)

A three-sport star at Warwick in tennis, softball, and basketball prior to graduating in 1988, Erickson was a starter for the Lady Warriors’ Section championship basketball team in her senior year and the all-time leading hitter for a Warwick softball third baseman.

Currently, her daughter Abby is a rising senior for the Warwick softball team and her son Isaac is a sophomore-to-be for the Warrior bowling team.

“It came as a complete surprise,” Erickson said of her selection to the Hall, “but I am totally honored and humbled to be included in such a great group. It’s exciting, for sure. When (Warwick Athletic Director Ryan Landis) originally called, I was thinking it was something having to do with one of my kids and then he (told me) about the Hall of Fame.”

Besides being a two-time Gold Bat Award winner (1987-88 for highest batting average) and Gold Glove Award winner (1987 for best fielding percentage), she led the Section in runs scored, finished second in hits and third in homers. She was also the Lady Warriors’ top-seeded tennis player.

“I just loved playing sports,” Erickson said, “and back then, I think playing multiple sports was more of a thing than it is today. It seems like people are specializing more in one (now). But back then, it was great to be able to do all three, and I loved playing and being with great teammates too. We were blessed to have very athletic people.”

Erickson currently resides in Lititz and teaches in the Ephrata School District.

Asked what some of her fondest memories were from her playing days, Erickson said, “For me, I think the coaches that I had and the teammates I played with. The relationships that we built and just working toward a common goal and being really successful at it. I was very fortunate in my time to be with great people all-around.”

Kristin Harris (Peifer), left, shown here with Warwick teammate Amanda Eckert, hoisted the PIAA championship trophy with the Lady Warriors’ field hockey team in back-to-back seasons in 1999 and 2000.

Kristin Harris (Peifer), left, shown here with Warwick teammate Amanda Eckert, hoisted the PIAA championship trophy with the Lady Warriors’ field hockey team in back-to-back seasons in 1999 and 2000.

Kristin Harris (Peifer)

Peifer, a 2001 Warwick grad, starred in not only field hockey, helping the Lady Warriors win back-to-back PIAA State championships in 1999 and 2000, but also in soccer, playing a key role for the 1999 Section and L-L League championship team.

She was a two-time All-State, two-time Regional All-American and a First-Team All-American in field hockey and an All-State selection in soccer.

“Certainly surprised,” Peifer said of being named to the Hall. “I think those honors are so special, and for me, certainly unexpected, although I certainly appreciate it. But I was surprised and honored.”

In her senior season, Peifer and the Warwick field hockey team put together a perfect 28-0 season, taking the Section, L-L League, District Three and State titles. Those remain fond memories.

“I think being part of the Warwick program achieving success, especially back when I played, we expected success. The program was known for that,” Peifer said, “and now looking back, I think I have even a better appreciation for what winning those State championships mean than I did even then. Again, I think we were used to that success and we expected it every season I think and then coaching in high school after I graduated college and seeing that that was not the norm, I definitely have a better appreciation for what we achieved and how special that was to win back-to-back State championships with people we really loved.”

It’s those relationships she had with teammates and coaches that immediately come to mind when recalling her playing days at Warwick.

“Even though we worked so hard, we always managed to have fun doing it,” Peifer said. “That work ethic was built in from the start and certainly carried through when I went on to college.”

Peifer went on to play field hockey at the University of Maryland, helping the Lady Terps reach the NCAA championship game in her freshman season. After graduating, she was an assistant coach at Hempfield.

“I enjoyed the years I coached, especially because I got to coach with Lori O’Donnell, who was a previous coach of mine,” she said. “So that was really a neat situation to be able to coach with her.”

Peifer currently lives in Lititz and teaches in the Hempfield School District.

Tracey Miller (Mearig) was named a First-Team L-L League All-Star in field hockey in her junior and senior seasons at Warwick.

Tracey Miller (Mearig) was named a First-Team L-L League All-Star in field hockey in her junior and senior seasons at Warwick.

Tracey Miller (Mearig)

A three-sport star athlete at Warwick, Mearig led the Lady Warriors’ field hockey team in scoring in her junior and senior seasons, she was a captain and the girls basketball team’s top scorer as a senior, and she set school records in four track and field events, including the 300 hurdles, which she held for 13 years.

“It’s pretty cool,” Mearig, a 1984 grad, said of her Hall of Fame selection. “Honestly, it’s an honor to be recognized for something like that. You feel like you’ve been so far out of that (high school athletics scene). But boy, did I have a good time in school. I really did.”

Warwick’s opponents were probably glad to see her graduate. Mearig was named a First-Team L-L All-Star in field hockey her final two seasons, and she was a member of the Lady Warriors’ 1982-83 Section championship squad in hoops.

“One point I’d like to make is how rewarding field hockey has been for me,” said Mearig, who scored and assisted in the Senior All-Star Game while taking home MVP honors. “I have coached Warwick Youth Field Hockey since 1985 with coach Derr. I have seen, coached, and hopefully inspired so many young girls, which explains the reason I have done it for over 30 years.”

In the spring, she was a captain and the girls track and field teams’ leading scorer in her senior year.

“I loved all three sports that I played, I honestly did,” said Mearig, an All-Star in basketball who was named to the All-League Team, consisting of just five L-L players. “There wasn’t a sport that was year-round that you got focused on, which me personally, I love. I had fun in all of them.”

The fact that boys and girls athletes competed together in the same sport contributed to her fondness of track.

“It was fun cheering for everybody, practicing together, pushing everybody,” Mearig said. “I, of course, always wanted to beat a guy, if I could, in racing … I believe in the fact that if you surround yourself with good people, good things happen. My coaches — Bob Derr in hockey, Craig Wagaman in basketball and Jim Konevitch in track — all my teammates, and my opponents, brought out the best in me in high school. It was an honor to play for them, with them, and against them.”

She and her teammates competed with Konevitch, in an era when the athletes didn’t have the luxury of competing on all-weather tracks.

“We ran on cinders,” Mearig recalled. “You didn’t even run on an all-weather track until you hit the State Meet, probably … maybe the District Meet. You ran on cinders all the time.”

It’s interesting to note that Mearig’s senior field hockey season also happened to the first year of what has become a Hall of Fame coaching career for Bob Derr.

“Since I ran track and he was the boys track coach, I knew him,” Mearig said. “He was the wrestling coach too and since I was around all of (the sports), I knew him and I just knew that it was probably going to go well and we were going to be in shape.”

Jeff Rosenberger

Jeff Rosenberger

Jeff Rosenberger

A four-time Sectional winner and a three-time District Three champ, Rosenberger wrestled for the Warriors from 1976-79. He was a four-time L-L All-Star and never lost a dual meet in his four-year career at Warwick, and in 2006, he was inducted into the L-L League Wrestling Hall of Fame.

As a senior, Rosenberger was undefeated and a heavy favorite to become Warwick’s first State champion heading into the PIAA Tournament, but he broke his wrist the night before States began and was not able to compete. He later wrestled at Penn State on a full scholarship. After injuries ended his career, he was a graduate assistant coach at Virginia University.

“He’s so well deserving of (the Warwick Hall),” Jeff’s coach Jerry McDonald, a fellow Hall of Famer, said. “As far as the titles that he’s won … just like Jeff Martin, who preceded him, was a four-time Section champion and a three-time District champ. He was undefeated in dual meets through four years of competition and he was really coming on in his senior year, he was really looking good, and unfortunately, he broke his wrist. I feel he would have wrestled in the State finals. He had an excellent shot of being a State champion.”

McDonald believes Rosenberger ranks in the top five all-time among Warwick grapplers.

“He had some talent, but he worked real hard at it,” he said. “He was really driven to do well. He had a lot of drive and a lot of support from his family, and of course, the community. He was just really motivated and he had some talent to go along with it.”

Rosenberger could not be reached for comment.

Mike Roth

Mike Roth

Mike Roth

A 1968 Warwick graduate, Roth earned All-County honors in football as a junior and a senior under the Mick Sload-led Warriors. Football, however, was just the tip of the iceberg. He was also a co-captain for the Warrior wrestling team and finished as a two-time Sectional champ, in addition to being a two-time Lancaster County champion and a District gold medalist in the shot put for Warwick’s track and field team.

“It’s a great honor to be a Hall of Famer,” Roth said from his home in Arlington, Texas. “There are a lot of athletes that came through that place. What’s really going to make it special for me is going in there with coach Sload. To me, he was the best.”

With Sload at the helm, Roth helped the Warrior football team take home the County Championship in the fall of ‘67 in his senior season.

“Winning the County Championship that year was special,” Roth said, “and then getting a bunch of awards – it was nice, it was flattering and stuff. You thought you were a big shot back then when you were a senior.”

Later, Roth was nominated for the Big 33 Classic and received All-America Honorable Mention.

“I wouldn’t have done anything in football without my teammates,” Roth remarked. “We were so together as a team and I can honestly say under Sload, he was the one that molded us, and we wanted to win. It showed. And that was very nice … rewarding.”

Nor would Roth have done anything in football without the influence of his mother, Shirley Becker. Playing Midget football as a youngster, he recalls being kinda nervous and not wanting to go, despite being dressed in his uniform, and his mother forced him out the door.

“She’s the one that got me started,” he said. “We still laugh. My mom’s the one responsible for everything.”

As a senior wrestler at Warwick, Roth still recalls defeating Manheim Central’s Carl Ginder twice in the 1967-68 season. The first of those two wins came in a dual-meet and then the next one was at the Sectional Championships. Unfortunately for Roth, however, Ginder turned the tables in the District finals and then went on to win State gold.

“Not that he didn’t deserve to win (States), but that was probably the most disappointing,” said Roth, who received a football scholarship to Hofstra University, then switched to a wrestling scholarship with the Pride.

Mick Sload, who coached the Warwick football team the County championship in 1967, is carried off the field by his players following a big victory.

Mick Sload, who coached the Warwick football team the County championship in 1967, is carried off the field by his players following a big victory.

Mick Sload

Sload was Warwick’s head football coach from 1966-75, compiling an overall record of 57-41-2 while suffering just one losing season and leading the Warriors to the 1967 County championship. His squad in 1966 finished second in the league.

But his contributions to Warwick went far deeper before passing away in 2001.

Asked what Mick would have said about being inducted into the Warwick Hall of Fame, his son John said, “He’d probably be very humble in receiving that honor. His greatest passion and love was developing and building confidence in young athletes, motivating and inspiring them to be great, and challenging them on the field, in the classroom and in the weight room. He was a master motivator … My brother (Pete), sister (Becky) and I are very honored that dad is being recognized for his contribution and to the kids and to the school.”

His efforts and vision for a weight room, as John notes, were “way before his time.”

“He had drawn up plans for our weight room back in the late ‘60’s and I had pictures of the guys lifting weights in the early ‘70’s,” John said, from his home in Virginia. “I remember tagging when he took me to York Barbell to get the equipment.”

Although Warwick didn’t immediately grasp the same vision for a weight room that Mick had, he eventually helped out and designed with the new facility that the Warriors currently have.

“That was exciting,” John said. “He had the first makeshift weight room.”

After coaching at Warwick, Mick went on to be an assistant on Gene Carpenter’s staff at Millersville University and was part of a Marauders’ PSAC Eastern Conference championship. Two of his players, Will Lewis and Rob Riddick later played in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills, respectively.

“I remember dad recruiting Will Lewis and then Will coming into one of dad’s weight room workouts at Millersville and (saying), “Hey Coach, do you mind if I bring my cousin down to work out?,’ and dad said, ‘Yeah, no problem.’”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Interestingly, Carpenter’s first Marauder camps were hosted by Warwick on its practice football field before eventually moving into the university.

In addition to Lewis and Riddick, John noted that his father also coached a lot of talented local players, including the likes of Pat Ross and Garry Fuhrman, and was surrounded by many top coaches such as John Sukenik, Mark Snyder and Dave Althouse.

Many were at Mick’s funeral more than a decade ago.

“That was a tough day,” John said, “but the support and turnout for that enabled me to get through it and really recognize as an adult the contribution that he made.”




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    August 27, 2016 at 8:20 am

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  2. Lula B. Cooper

    October 29, 2016 at 11:43 pm

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