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True Grit Awards

May 12, 2007

The True Grit Award is presented to one senior student-athlete from each high school in Washington County and one sophomore student-athlete from Hagerstown Community College who has demonstrated the ability to overcome hardship to become a member of an athletic team.

The winners were honored at a banquet Tuesday night at Fountain Head Country Club and each received a $500 scholarship, a plaque and a one-year membership to the Hagerstown YMCA.

These profiles were written by the teachers and coaches who nominated or recommended these student-athletes for the True Grit Award.

Samuel Brewer, Heritage Academy

Sam always has demonstrated the trait of putting others before himself and his interests. While a member of the Heritage Academy basketball team and getting little playing time he always was encouraging his teammates, whether in games or simply in practice. Sam has displayed this "servant's heart" not only around school and his involvement in mission trips, but also in his summer employment at a children's camp.

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Corporate Sponsor: Coldwell Banker, Clarence Horst

Amy Rhoderick, Boonsboro High School

When Amy was an infant, she lost her mother, and throughout her life she has had to face this hardship, while helping her father work on the family farm. Amy has turned this adversity into the positive motivating force to not only become an outstanding young lady, but who also has been a leader on her basketball team. Amy will pursue a post-secondary education at Hagerstown Community College where she also recently signed to play next year for Lady Hawks basketball team.

Corporate Sponsor: Ellsworth Electric, Inc., John Barr

Chad Banks, Highland View Academy

Chad Banks is a wonderful example of what people can do who are determined and committed to achieving their goals. When he arrived at HVA four years ago he struggled academically and his only goal was to make it through each day with as little effort as possible - just to get by. However, at the end of this year he will be leaving with his diploma in hand and some noteworthy accomplishments. In his senior year he achieved honor roll status, was a starter on the basketball team, had the lead male role in the school production of "Hello Dolly," but most importantly, he has been a role model and mentor for younger students.

Corporate Sponsor: Hagerstown Kitchens, Inc., Jim Lobley

Jordan Anthony, Broadfording Christian Academy

As an infant Jordan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic, life-threatening disease that causes mucous to build up in the lungs. On his 1st birthday he weighed less than 12 pounds. However, Jordan is a survivor - he plays baseball and golf at BCA and earlier this year he got to meet his greatest idol - Tiger Woods. In spite of his medical condition, Jordan always has a smile on his face and he never complains. He takes one day at a time and is glad to be here for each and every day. Jordan is an inspiration for every one of us. His current dream is to beat Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour.

Corporate Sponsor: Ellsworth Electric, Inc., John Barr

Cory Eisenhart, Hagerstown Community College

Cory is a sophomore student-athlete at Hagerstown Community College and is a member of the varsity baseball team. During his freshman year, as Cory was having a successful season leading the team in hitting, he suffered a severe arm injury. He underwent "Tommy John" surgery, which requires complete re-construction of the elbow ligaments, and after extensive and aggressive rehabilitation and personal determination, Cory is back on the team and having a very successful season catching for the Hawks.

Corporate Sponsor: Fidelity Bank, Brian Gaeng

Jess Patey, Williamsport High School

Jess was not blessed with the greatest athletic ability and basketball talent. However, through desire, dedication, and an extreme commitment to develop her skills, she has played a very important role on the Wildcats' Girls' Basketball team for the past two years. Originally the coaching staff was not even certain that Jess would be able to make the team, let alone become a varsity player her junior and Senior years. Not only did Jess make the team, she became its heart and soul and is the kind of student-athlete who is a coach's dream. She listens and understands, practices hard and puts forth an outstanding effort, plays hard, and is willing to do whatever the coaching staff asks of her.

Corporate Sponsor: Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, Ron Vitkun

Tim Carver, Grace Academy

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