NHS to honor former catcher
YEATESVILLE — The Northside baseball team will end the regular season in grand style as the Panthers will be handing out the Bryan Keith Woolard Memorial Scholarship before it’s Senior Night battle with area and Four Rivers Conference rival Southside tonight before the first pitch, which is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Woolard, who died in a tragic automobile accident on Jan. 3, 2009, was a star catcher on Northside’s 1994 state championship team. Woolard went on to play at Lenoir Community College where he was named the team’s defensive player of the year.
To honor his memory and love for baseball Woolard’s parents, Keith and Wendy Woolard, established the Bryan Keith Woolard Memorial Scholarship four years ago. The scholarship awards $500 to a senior who has played varsity baseball for at least two seasons and works as hard on the diamond as he does in the classroom.
The late Woolard was survived by his wife Teresa and his nine-year old son Ryan, who plays catcher on the 9U D&H Equipment Cal Ripken League team.
“This will be our fourth year giving out the award and it is something that means a lot of the family,” said Teresa, who will not be in attendance for the ceremony for the first time because Ryan is scheduled to play a game on the same night. “We look forward to it every year to keep Bryan’s memory alive and to remember his love for baseball.
“He was a great father and an all-around great guy. I don’t know if there is anything anyone could ever said bad about Bryan. He played with great sportsmanship and he was a great father and an all-around great guy.”
Northside coach Keith Boyd said that he and his players are proud to take part in the ceremony.
“It’s a great way to make something positive out of a tragedy. Keith and Wendy have been very gracious. They found a way to honor Bryan in a good, positive way,” Boyd said.
Boyd said when searching for the right candidate the player must exemplify what Woolard stood for on and off the field.
“We look at character, work ethic and anything that would reflect how Bryan treated the game and treated life,” Boyd said.
Boyd said that with the awarding of the scholarship, along with having Senior Night against the rival Seahawks, the atmosphere should be electric at Northside High School.
“Well, we’re playing Southside and it’s Senior Night and we have a big senior class, about six seniors, and one of them will be singled out as a Bryan Woolard scholarship recipient and all of them will be recognized for the work they have put in to the baseball program,” Boyd said. “It’s going to be a good night and it will be nice to see these players get some recognition for all their hard work.”
Bryan Keith Woolard Memorial Scholarship winners
2011: Taylor Woolard
2010: Tyler Woolard
2009: Holden Cox