Bretwood stars Pilarski, Healy noted for their tireless athletic schedules
At a school such as Brentwood, with an enrollment of only 310 students, it is often important for the school's best athletes to compete in several sports in order to compete.
For two Brentwood students, that multi-sport commitment was recognized at the year-end sports awards banquet as Jason Pilarski and Victoria Healy were presented with the Mark Reider and Booster Athlete awards, respectively, as the school's top male and female senior athletes.
Pilarski played a rare four sports for the Spartans this season, while Healy played two, with each being named as the most outstanding team member in two sports.
“They want you to do more than one sport at Brentwood, and it's more fun for us because we can do more,” Healy said. “I think that a lot of us would be bored if we had to do one sport.”
In the fall, Pilarski joined the football team as a kicking specialist while also playing soccer, where he was a four-year starter at the sweeper position.
Meanwhile, Healy was named a team captain last fall for the Lady Spartans' volleyball team, where her leadership and athleticism propelled the team to the WPIAL playoffs under unique circumstances.
“We made it to playoffs and that was kind of a big accomplishment because our head coach was out for the whole year,” said Healy, who manned a setter position. “Our assistant coach was new to the district.”
During the winter months, Pilarski was a three-year starter at shooting guard on the boys' basketball team.
He helped lead Brentwood to a 14-11 overall record and WPIAL playoff appearance, while also being named the team's most outstanding team member.
“That's always been my favorite sport since I was little,” Pilarski said.
While taking a break from competition during the winter, Healy competed in track and field for four years in the spring.
Healy was a throwing specialist, participating in the javelin, shot put and discus events. She had a personal record of 104 feet, 5 inches in the discus, her favorite event.
The versatile Pilarski was a three-year starter in baseball, playing left field, first base, second base or simply wherever the team needed him around the diamond.
While competing in so many sports can be difficult, Pilarski wouldn't have it any other way.
“It's pretty tiring, but it's always fun, and you have to play hard no matter what,” he said. “I just enjoy playing all the sports. It's difficult, but I keep my grades up too, so I learn how to work my time scheduling.”
Pilarski, who will attend Westminster College and play basketball while majoring in psychology, said being bestowed with an honor like the Mark Reider Award was evidence of all the work he has done.
“It means everything,” he said. “It means everything that I worked on definitely showed with that.
“All my hard work that I put in, it was good to get that award.”
Pilarski said he was somewhat surprised he won the award, while Healy cited she was equally caught off-guard by winning the Booster Athlete award.
“It was really cool,” said Healy, who will attend Duquesne to study pharmacy. “I really wasn't expecting it. I didn't know who was going to win, but I did not expect it to be me.”
The two classmates had high praise for each other, along with plenty of admiration for what each was able to accomplish athletically.
“She is a tremendous athlete,” Pilarski said of Healy. “She works hard in everything she does, and she was one who definitely led with example.
“She was definitely the girl to look up to whenever someone needed help with anything.”
“I don't know how he sleeps,” said Healy of Pilarski. “He's always doing some kind of sport around the school, or doing something.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.