Amanda Strous honored at Dallastown field hockey game
On Tuesday, a loud chant could be heard coming from the Dallastown Area High School football stadium.
"Fly high, Amanda!"
About 100 purple balloons were then let go into the sky.
Purple was Amanda Strous' favorite color.
It was a color that the Dallastown field hockey team and the fans, about 100 people total, wore that day to honor Amanda Strous, a former player for the team who was found in her burning North Carolina apartment in June and was later pronounced dead. She was 27.
Honoring Amanda: For Tuesday afternoon's game against West York, Strous' parents, Crystal and Eric Strous, of York Township, spoke to the crowd about their daughter before releasing about 100 purple balloons in her honor.
Crystal Strous read a letter from Amanda Strous' former college roommate, Katie Shoop. Shoop's letter recounted all the things Amanda Strous taught her during their friendship, such as love, learning from mistakes, and how to listen to others.
Her father, Eric Strous, read a letter written by Amanda Strous.
"When I die, I want to be remembered as a person who lived life to the fullest," Eric Strous read from the note.
Additionally, in the note she praised her time playing field hockey, saying that she exuded leadership while playing the sport.
"It changed my life on and off the field," her father read from the note.
After the reading, Amanda Strous' family was presented with her jersey, now framed, along with pictures of her while on the team.
Both teams and fans lined up on the field for a moment of silence, before releasing the balloons. Then Eric Strous kicked off the game.
"Let's play ball!" he said.
After the ceremony, Crystal Strous spoke with The York Dispatch.
"The balloon release was just wonderful," she said.
She said she knew about the jersey being framed beforehand but was not aware that the frame included photos as well.
Crystal Strous noted that seeing all the people, many of whom did not know Amanda Strous, coming out in support of her was good.
The background: Amanda Strous was pulled from her burning apartment about 5:40 p.m. June 18 and rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, officials said.
She worked as a counselor at Central Piedmont Community College's Harper campus for about six months, according to college spokeswoman Kathy Scott Rummage.
Amanda Strous graduated from Dallastown Area High School in 2007, then graduated from Shippensburg University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in art. She graduated from Shippensburg in 2015 with a master's degree in mental-health counseling.
She played field hockey at Shippensburg from 2007 to 2010. As a senior in 2010, a season in which Shippensburg competed in the NCAA Division II national championship game, Amanda Strous served as a team captain and had a career year, totaling 11 goals and five assists.
Amanda Strous and fiance Cory McCleaf planned to marry July 30, according to her loved ones.
A grand jury in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on July 11 indicted Mathew Benner, 28, on charges of first-degree arson and murder in Amanda Strous' death, according to Charles Keller Jr., community access and outreach administrator for the trial court administrator's office in Mecklenburg County.
Benner and Amanda Strous lived in the same apartment complex on Toscana Way in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, according to Benner's arrest warrant.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.