Four individuals and one sports team were inducted into the Penn Manor Athletic Wall of Honor during ceremonies in the high school cafeteria January 6, 2017.
This year’s inductees include: Coach William Beck (football), Jill Witmer (field hockey), Jackie Ochs-Gregory Texter (volleyball/basketball/soccer); Jarred Texter (golf/basketball); and the 2005 Penn Manor girls’ state championship soccer team.
William A. Beck
Bill was hired in 1969 to build Penn Manor’s football program from scratch. He served as varsity coach from 1969 to 1979 and remained with the Comets football program in various capacities for 44 years. His most successful season was in 1974-75, when the Comets went 8-1-1 and won the Section II Championship in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Bill was voted L-L League Coach of the Year in 1974.
Before arriving at Penn Manor, Bill taught and coached at Braddock High School and Brownsville Area High School. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, where he played football and competed in track.
Bill then attended Lakeland College (1957-58) and St. Vincent College (1959-62), where he played football and was named to the All Conference First Team as an offensive tackle and was co-captain his senior year. He received an All-State Honorable Mention and participated in the Senior College All-Star Game in 1961.
Bill’s commitment to Penn Manor football continues today with the Bill Beck Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to Penn Manor football players.
Jill Witmer (2010 home school graduate)
Jill, a member of the United States Field Hockey Team, is the top field hockey player to come from Penn Manor’s storied program.
She was a First Team Section One and First Team L-L All-Star in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10. Jill also was voted L-L League Player of the Year as a junior, when she recorded a league-high 32 goals and added 22 assists to propel the Comets to their first PIAA State Field Hockey Championship.
In her senior year, Witmer scored 39 goals – giving her more than 100 in her career – while helping Penn Manor win the L-L League and District Championships on the way to a 25-1-1 record. She also was voted a first team All-State and All-American in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Jill played field hockey for the University of Maryland, helping lead the Terrapins to two consecutive national championships. In her senior year, she was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American, her fourth such honor.
A member of the United States Field Hockey team, Jill earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team and competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
At the ceremony, her Penn Manor jersey was retired and will be on display at the high school alongside her Olympic jersey.
2005 Girls’ Soccer Team
The Penn Manor girls’ soccer team had a storybook ending to their 2005 season by winning the PIAA Class AAA State Soccer Championship, defeating previously unbeaten and No. 1 nationally ranked Emmaus, 1-0, on a Kasie Shover goal at 12:38 into the first half.
The team exhibited a relentless defensive effort the remainder of the match, yielding only two shots on goal to a team that was averaging more than four goals per game. This was the first team at Penn Manor High School to win a PIAA state title without having to share it with another school.
The Comets also were ranked first in NSCAA/Adidas Region I (PA, NJ, NY, DE) and sixth in the NSCAA/Adidas national rankings. Team members earned multiple league and state individual awards, and the 2005 team was ranked among the top 25 in PIAA history with 17 shutouts in a season.
Team members included Emily Andrew, Kristen Armstrong, Mackenzie Dantinne, Stephanie Fisher, Taryn Fry, Jennifer Funk, Emily Gordon, Maria Hershey, Caitlin Higgins, Nicole High, Morgan Kauffman, Jackie Ochs-Gregory, Ellen Ochs-Gregory, Amy Pham, Megan Quinn, Sara Scheid, Kristi Shepps, Sarah Shetler, Kathryn Shiffler, Kasie Shover, Emily Wary, Katelyn Wolf and Lauren Wolpert.
Coaches included William Zapata and assistants Jack Kremer, Jason Hottenstein, Karrine Riggins, Kevin Bower and Jocelyn Arnold.
Jackie Ochs-Gregory Texter (2005 graduate)
Jackie was a three-sport athlete who excelled at volleyball, basketball and soccer.
She was a four-year varsity letter winner in volleyball and a Lancaster-Lebanon League First Team All-Star her junior and senior year. An outstanding defensive and offensive player, she led Penn Manor in her senior year to a 10-4 record and a district playoff berth.
Jackie lettered three years in basketball and led her team to a District III playoff berth as a senior.
In soccer, she was part of a team that won three L-L League championships, a District Championship and the 2002 and 2005 PIAA state championships. Jackie earned 10 varsity letters, received the E. Jerry Brooks Award for Academic Excellence and was named Outstanding All-Around Female Athlete in her senior year.
At Virginia Wesleyan University, she played soccer and led the Marlins to four ODAC regular season championships and one ODAC tournament championship. The team also was a four-time NCAA qualifier and competed in the NCAA Final Four berth, the first in the school’s history.
Jackie earned First Team All-Academic honors her junior and senior years, along with First Team All-Conference, First Team All-State, First Team All-Region and NSCAA First Team All-American honors. She has been nominated for Virginia Wesleyan’s Athletic Hall of Fame
Jarred Texter (2004 graduate)
Jarred Texter played golf and basketball at Penn Manor, earning seven varsity letters and the All-Around Male Athlete award his senior year.
He was one of the top high school golfers in Pennsylvania during his career. In 2001, he
was the L-L League Individual Champion and finished fourth at the PIAA State Championship. In 2002, Jarred won the North/South Junior Championship at Pinehurst. The following year, he was the third-ranked junior golfer in the country, according to Golf Week Magazine, and went on to be a Rolex First Team All-American.
On the local golf circuit, Jarred is a three-time Lancaster County Amateur Champion and won his first Lanco Championship in 2003 at Crossgates while shooting a first-round course record of 63, which still stands today.
In basketball, Jarred was a three-year varsity starter and helped lead Penn Manor to its first L-L League and district playoff appearances in more than 10 years. During his junior season, Jarred made 72 three-pointers, which led the LL-League. He was named to the All Section One First Team his junior and senior seasons.
As a golfer for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Jarred was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the year in 2005. During his sophomore and junior seasons, he earned First-Team All Mountain West Conference as well as Ping All-America honors. Jarred’s round of 64 in the 2007 Ping Arizona Intercollegiate is tied for the second-lowest round of all time in UNLV golf history and his career scoring average of 72.72 ranks him 11th all-time at UNLV.
Jarred also qualified for three USGA Amateur Championships during his college career.