Cocalico s Weaver honored at L-L Officials Banquet

By on April 20, 2011

The Lancaster Chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials honored Cocalico senior Kayla Weaver with one of the four 2011 scholar-athlete awards during their annual banquet on April 11. The scholarship award is funded through the Tim Bartholomew Memorial Shootout Tournament held each spring. This year s tournament will feature 42 schools and will be held on May 20 and 21 in various gyms in Ephrata. The award rewards young men and women for the way they conduct themselves on and off the basketball court, explained scholarship committeeman John Weinhold. Each coach is asked to nominate a deserving senior from their squad who meets criteria such as having a 3.0 GPA, exhibiting good sportsmanship on and off the court and an intention to continue their education beyond high school.

"My Coach Rich Koller (told) me about the award and that I qualified and he nominated me, recalled Weaver. After the initial screening, Weaver needed to submit a short essay on basketball s influence on her life. I talked about my relationship with the team, how (basketball) wasn’t just a game, she said. Obviously, you have to love it but I think of it more as a building character and it got me out of my comfort zone.

Basketball referee and scholarship committeeman Gary Morinchin elaborated during his introduction speech. In her essay, she talked about how basketball helped her build relationships throughout the years, said Morinchin. She mentioned she had 15 sisters. What she means by that is that she has 15 teammates that support her on and off the court, good times and bad times. She mentioned how much basketball taught her about herself as a person. It allowed her to have vision, setting goals and the importance of having a positive attitude, even when games and seasons aren’t going quite the way you want them to go.

One of those goals will be to become a nurse by attending Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia in the fall. Weaver said she was pursuing nursing because, I really just like helping people and I always wanted to go into the healthcare field somehow, so nursing really fits with that. I m a people person and I really like helping people.

Helping people and charity work helped Weaver stand out from the other nominees. She helps with a blood drive in her school, said Morinchin. She raises money for Relay for Life and helps in organizing various food drives. The thing that stood out to me the most is she is taking her last summer before college, taking a week out and going to South Carolina to help a needy family renovate their home.

The work group is sponsored by her church and the trip is something she has done the past four years. It s group work camps and we go over the summer with my church, the Ephrata Church of the Brethren, said Weaver. We’ve gone the past four summers and (this year) we are going to South Carolina. It s not just about the house, it s about the person and you form a relationship with them.

As Morinchin summarized in his introduction, I think it s only fitting that she has chosen a profession that allows her to continue to help people down the line.

The other three award winners from the banquet were: Brittany Padillas of Lebanon; Trey Blanding of Annville-Cleona; and Kirby Turner of Elizabethtown.

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