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County students earn academic, athletic honors

November 14, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

WASHINGTON COUNTY

karenh@herald-mail.com

A pair of Heisman winners has scored a rare two-point conversion for Washington County Public Schools.

Seniors Laura Forsythe of Williamsport High School and Pete Frey of Boonsboro High School learned earlier this month they have been named the state winners of the Wendy's High School Heisman Award.

They join two winners from each state and Washington, D.C., in winning the award, which is sponsored by the Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers fast-food chain.

Both students said they are honored by the recognition.

Pete, 17, who is considering becoming a minister, said last week he views his time in high school as an opportunity to minister to other students and teach them about the Christian faith.

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"When my day's through, I just like to come home and think maybe I had an impact on somebody's life today," said Pete, a pole vaulter and high school soccer team captain. He is the son of Scott and Jackie Frey of Hagerstown.

Like Pete, Laura participates in track and field. She has run every semester of her high school career on the cross-country and indoor and outdoor track teams.

What keeps her coming back?

"Definitely my teammates," said Laura, the daughter of Michele Forsythe of Williamsport and Mark Forsythe of Pinesburg. The 17-year-old said team sports have taught her time-management skills and a sense of commitment.

"I'm just so blessed with wonderful, wonderful coaches and teammates. We're a big group of friends, all of us runners," Laura said.

According to the Wendy's High School Heisman Web site, more than 125,000 scholar-athletes have been nominated for the award since 1994. The program honors students who have excelled in academics, sports and community service.

Pete carries a 4.25 grade-point average, while Laura has a 4.19 GPA, according to a press release from the school system.

Pete and Laura were selected from more than 14,000 nominees across the country. National finalists will be announced later this month.

Pete, who is president of his school's National Honor Society, has been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the youth group at Tri-State Fellowship, where he attends church. A student at Grace Academy from kindergarten through eighth grade, Pete said he decided to enter public schools as a way to extend his ministry. He said he is considering continuing his education at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

"This is my passion, and this is my love and my life," Pete said. He credits God for his school successes.

"God's brought me to this school, and people know I'm open about my faith, and I pray that God plants in people's hearts," Pete said.

A self-described "people person," Laura said she enjoys sharing time with the residents of Williamsport Retirement Village, where she volunteers. She said she is considering a career in nursing.

A 4-H member, Laura also raises goats at her father's farm.

Pete said he wants to be a positive influence on his peers. Laura said she just enjoys knowing she has made a difference.

"Besides 4-H, I really enjoy volunteering at the nursing home. I don't know, I just feel I'm helping," she said.

National Heisman Award winners will be announced in December.

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