What will you do when opportunities are in front of you?
That's the question former York Catholic standout athlete Ron Johnson posed to the award recipients at Monday's Quarterback Club of York awards banquet. Johnson, who also played football at Shippensburg University and then with the Philadelphia Eagles served as the special guest speaker.
For the student athletes in attendance at San Carlos Restaurant, listening as coaches and administrators spoke about them, the answer was fairly obvious that they had met every challenge in front of them and exceeded expectations.
In total, seven student athletes from York County were honored.
Four were honored as YAIAA football players of the year in their respective divisions. Receiving trophies at the dinner were Central York's Marquis Fells (Division I); West York's Zack Smith and Northeastern's Daniel Adams (Division II); and Eastern York's record-breaking running back Alex Cooley (Division III).
The other three -- West York's Brandon Kinneman, Eastern York's Cassidy Layman and York County Tech's Danielle Aikins -- were presented with scholarship awards.
Kinneman was the recipient of the $4,000 Charles Larson Memorial Scholarship, something he can use as he pursues football and baseball careers in college. The quarterback, pitcher and first baseman has narrowed his choices to Lebanon Valley College, Susquehanna and
Kinneman was introduced to the crowd by Bulldogs' football coach Ron Miller, who said the senior, "Has impacted me far more than he'll ever know."
The coach and quarterback exchanged text messages prior to this football season, and Kinneman told Miller he wanted to be a great leader, so Miller read a book called, "Lead ... for God's Sake" and sent it to Kinneman.
"I read it in about a week. Coach sent it to me the week before the first game. It's the best book I've ever read," Kinneman said. "It said life is all (about) the relationships you build with the people around you. People will eventually forget about the football awards, but the relationships and love you have with people is what lasts."
Layman, who was a team captain and goalkeeper on the Golden Knights' soccer team, received the $1,000 Sandy Kranich Memorial Scholarship. She was the October 2012 student of the month at Eastern and has quite the course load, taking advanced classes such as AP world history, AP calculus and AP physics.
"It's wonderful," Layman said of the award. "It's really the first award I've gotten, and the scholarship money helps out because the colleges I'm looking at are pretty expensive. It's a huge honor."
The senior is looking to major in physics at either Bowdoin College in Maine or Middlebury College in Vermont.
Aikins, a standout softball player from York County School of Technology, won the $1,000 Thomas Chatman Jr. Memorial Scholarship.