June 5, 2008

Kenworthy Recognized by CAC as 2007-08 Unsung Hero

YORK, PA-York College senior goalkeeper Joe Kenworthy (York, Pa./Severn Park) has been named the recipient of the 2007-08 Capital Athletic Conference Unsung Hero award as announced by the league office on Thursday afternoon. The award signifies a student-athlete that demonstrates leadership skills and the ability to overcome hardship to contribute to the success of their respective team.

Kenworthy had to overcome so much just to be a part of the York College men’s lacrosse program. Kenworthy came to the Spartans in his junior year to bolster the goaltending position for the green and white. Kenworthy played in 10 games; drawing starts in two of those contests as the Spartans went 11-5 in 2006. He notched a 12.47 goals against average, as he played 211:39 in goal for YCP.

In the summer of 2006, Kenworthy was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He went through his first round chemotherapy treatments only to find that the cancer had spread into other areas of his body. Kenworthy resumed two more rounds of treatment to eradicate the cancer from his body. The chemotherapy had left his body weak he was not able to play in 2007.

Kenworthy was determined to return in 2008. His strength was still an issue as he battled to get back on the field. He successfully made his return to the field this spring as York’s back-up netminder. Kenworthy made his return to the line up on February 23, the Spartans’ 2008 season opener.  Kenworthy played in six games as senior for York as he had a 11.44 goals against average and a .600 save percentage. 

Spartan head coach Jim Griffin was thrilled to see his senior get recognized.

“Joe Kenworthy has been an inspiration to our program as well as our coaching staff. His spirit, courage, and heart sent a message that extends past the lacrosse field,” says Griffin.  “Joe leaves York College as a winner on the lacrosse field but champion off it.”

Kenworthy’s contribution to the program can’t be measured by statistics but by the inspiration of overcoming cancer and providing York with senior leadership. During his two years on the squad, the Spartans went 21-12. Kenworthy was named the 2007-08 Jake Jaquet Fighting Heart award winner. That award is given annually to the York College athlete that exemplifies a “fighting heart”.

“Joe serves as a remarkable example of how the power of the human spirit can help one overcome great adversity,” says York College Asst. Dean for Athletics and Recreation Sean Sullivan. “It’s a lesson for us all to remember, whether challenged with our own medical issues or in the peak of health. Joe not only has been a fine student athlete but the dedication he has shown to his passion, which is lacrosse, and to his teammates in general, will be a story that will be told hundreds of times in the years ahead. His courageous tale should be shared by many.”

The Spartans have had three student-athletes earn the Male Scholar Athlete award in the CAC but Kenworthy’s selection is the first time York has had an Unsung Hero award winner.

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