PDT Sports Writer
The Portsmouth Trojan Athletic Booster Club awarded two one-time, non-renewable scholarships to graduated seniors J.W. Horsley and Kasey Simpson in the memory of former Portsmouth athletic director Tom Grashel.
Each student received $750 towards their studies. The scholarship was created by Grashel before his death in 2008 from pancreatic cancer.
Every year, the scholarships are built through donations and the annual golf outing in Grashel’s name. The scholarships go to one male and one female PHS student-athlete who was a varsity letterwinner, maintained a certain GPA, was active in the community and wrote an essay for the event.
Horsley will attend Shawnee State in the fall and major in opthimology. The field of study for Horsley hits close to home as he was diagnosed with Leber heredity optical neuropathy, a genetic eye disease more common in males that, in some cases, may lead to profound and permanent vision loss.
Horsley was humbled by the award.
“I felt like I had a respect towards the family,” Horsley said.
Simpson, who will attend the University of Cincinnati, has not decided on her major at this time. She has, however, decided to turn her passion into helping individuals with developmental disabilities as a potential career path.
One of the reasons Simpson wanted to chose this option was because of Grashel’s daughter, Maddie.
“To get this award, it put me over the top and I was very emotional,” Simpson said.
PHS public address announcer Skip Hickman stated he will always keep fond memories of Grashel. There was one aspect of Grashel’s life that stood out the most.
“His loyalty to Portsmouth High School,” Hickman said. “Even when he was sick, he wanted to do his duties.
“Once a Trojan, always a Trojan.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or email@example.com.