Former Dallastown field hockey standout Amanda Strous never attended West York High School.
That doesn’t mean she wasn’t a part of the Bulldog community.
Her mother, Crystal, is a teacher at West York Middle School. That’s where a number of the players on the varsity field hockey and boys’ soccer teams got to know her, before they eventually found their way to the high school.
So, when news broke this summer about the tragic murder of Amanda Strous, the West York students were there to support the Strous family in any way that they could.
Two former students of Crystal Strous — soccer player Robert Bigelow and field hockey member Alyssa Boyer — decided to make the school’s annual “Kilts for a Cause” benefit a little more meaningful.
They made it all about Amanda Strous.
Change from the past: In years past, the charity contest between the field hockey team and a boys' team at the school helped raise funds for York Rescue Mission’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter. Wednesday the field hockey and boys’ soccer teams participated in a friendly field hockey contest, with the goal of raising funds for the Amanda Strous Scholarship Fund.
Seeing other schools coordinate charity work for the Strous family, and with many of the students knowing Crystal Strous personally, it was a pretty simple decision for Boyer, who is now a junior.
“We saw that a bunch of other schools were raising money for the scholarship,” she said. “And we (the field hockey team) went to Dallastown and really got to experience it because they had a fundraiser, too. So just being there and seeing it and also having (Cyrstal) Strous as a teacher, and knowing how much it means to her, made me really want to do it.”
Bigelow felt the cause had a more personal connection for him, especially considering Crystal Strous was a former teacher of his.
“I think that knowing (Crystal) Strous as a teacher, and knowing her back story, that it meant a lot more,” Bigelow said. “I know that we raised close to $1,000, which feels great. We know that we’re doing something good.”
West York field hockey coach Amanda Steigleman was proud of how both teams came together to help a worthy cause. She also felt that it was a good thing for the boys’ soccer team to find out just how difficult the sport of field hockey actually is.
“I think that this does give our boys a little bit of a respect factor for the girls,” Steigleman said. “I know that boys come into this thing thinking ‘oh, it’s easy and we’re going to beat them, no problem.' But when they get out here they sort of start realizing what the girls really do. It is difficult and it is a tough sport and it’s hard work.”
The game: The two teams in this year’s event sold T-shirts in the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s contest. The team that sold the most shirts (the boys’ soccer team) entered the contest with a one-goal advantage on the scoreboard. That advantage proved beneficial. The field hockey team scored two goals to take a 2-1 lead midway through the second half.
A late goal by the boys’ soccer team, however, evened the score, sending the contest into penalty strokes to decide the winner. After several rounds of strokes, field hockey player Julia Gibson ended the contest, giving her team a 3-2 triumph.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.