Double the grit

May 04, 2007|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Megan Simmons

Age - 23.

Occupation - Program counselor at Girls Inc.; waitress at Next Dimensions in Funks-town

Hometown - Clear Spring.

Where would you see Simmons? - Between her job at the Girls Inc. after-school program and her job as a waitress, Megan Simmons comes in contact with county residents of all ages daily.

She was also a familiar figure on the softball field during her high school years at Clear Spring High School and while at Hagerstown Community College, where she was a pitcher and utility player. Her softball career wasn't without some hardship, though, after Simmons suffered a knee injury her sophomore year of high school.


The injury required surgery and Simmons missed the whole season of her sophomore year. Even after she'd been through rehab, she felt like she was never 100 percent.

"As a junior, I worked really hard to get back to where I was. I loved playing softball," Simmons said.

For her spirit through adversity, Simmons was selected to receive the True Grit Award twice - once in 2002 as a high school senior and in 2004, while a sophomore at HCC. She is believed to be the only person to receive the award twice.

"After I hurt my knee, I felt like I had to start over. I hated going to physical therapy and the doctor told me I wouldn't play again (that season)," Simmons said. "I guess that's when I got really competitive. I guess after taking a year off, I really wanted to play again."

She said she was surprised when the HCC women's softball coach nominated her, but said the coach must have noticed her drive and how much she wanted to win.

Simmons, who is the daughter of Donnie and Kathy Simmons, credits her competitive nature to her father, who was also one of her coaches at Clear Spring Little League and while she played for the Lady Bobcats, a traveling girls' softball team during her eighth-, ninth- and 11th-grade years. She said her younger brother, Andy, was also a competitive baseball player as a youth and through his first year at Frostburg State.

After HCC, Simmons went to Frostburg State University and earned a degree in reacreation and parks management. She applied for jobs in Frederick, Howard and Washington counties as a recreation coordinator, but was told she didn't have enough experience.

While she searches for a job in her field, she works two part-time jobs. She loves the contact with people at both Girls Inc. and Next Dimensions. Hobbies - "I really don't have time. I work a lot. I do enjoy going to work, mostly because of the people," Simmons said. She added that when she's not working, she likes to hang out with her friends, most whom are friends she grew up with and are like family.

Simmons said she considers photography a hobby, when she has time.

What does Simmons like best about Washington County? - Simmons, who is a Clear Spring native, said she likes the rural setting.

"There's a lot of different things to do - enjoy nature, go to Hagerstown shopping. It's really diverse," she said.

The annual True Grit Award Banquet will be held Tuesday, May 8, at Fountain Head Country Club, starting at 6 p.m. For tickets, call the Hagerstown YMCA at 301-739-3990.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail

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