Student-Athlete of the Year Marty Windisch juggled football,… (Photo By Noah Scialom )
Marty Windisch didn't break any records at Manchester Valley High School.
When he enrolled in August 2009, there simply weren't any records to break.
After one year at North Carroll High School, Windisch stepped into a new school and a fledgling athletic program. Three years later, he left Manchester Valley as the top male student-athlete in the school's brief history. He now holds a few records, too.
But Windisch's impact on goes beyond athletics. While playing football, basketball and baseball at a high level, he excelled academically and helped his school and community in many ways. His all-around excellence has earned Windisch the Carroll Eagle's Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
A Throwback Athlete
In an age where many kids play the same sport on a year-round basis, Windisch is an example of athletes decades ago, developing a variety of skill sets by playing three different sports.
"Sports have always been a big part of who I am," said Windisch, the son of Martin and Julia Windisch and brother of Niki and Sammy. "My parents played a big role. They always told me that I had to put the work in if I wanted to improve.
"It's hard to find time playing three sports, but my mom would throw the ball around with me and my dad would come up here (to Manchester Valley) and hit me ground balls before the baseball season. They'd throw the football with me, and shoot hoops outside. My parents were willing to do anything for me, in sports and in school."
While Windisch became proficient at football and basketball, his best sport was baseball. In his senior year, the shortstop-pitcher was among the county leaders in runs batted in (first with 30), home runs (tied for first with four) and batting average (second at .492).
He also won four games on the mound for the Mavericks, who finished second in the county just a game behind county champ Liberty. Manchester Valley, which finished at 10-4 in county play and 14-6 overall, reached the Class 1A West Region final before falling to eventual state champ Mountain Ridge.
"We played with the same kids for three years, and our trust in each other just grew during that time," said Windisch. "We knew that we had a solid team coming in. The work ethic was the big thing this year. There was no walking…we sprinted from station to station in practice."
Maverick baseball coach Shawn Hampt appreciated Windisch's competitiveness and his willingness to lead.
"He led with his bat and his fielding, but more importantly, the kids on the team listened to him," Hampt said. "Marty had a competitive spirit that I wish I could bottle."
While baseball was his best sport, Windisch's first appearance for Manchester Valley came on the football field. He was a part of the Maverick team that dedicated the school's stadium in 2009 with a loss to Clear Spring. Mavericks lost all 10 of their games that year, then improved slightly in its second year, winning the season opener at Clear Spring and closing with a victory over the North Carroll Panthers.
"We started off slowly, with no wins in that first year," he said. "We worked harder the next year, because we didn't want to put up a zero again."
Windisch's senior year was different, as the Mavericks rode his leadership to a breakout season. Largely due to Windisch's efforts, Manchester Valley went from 0-10 in its first season to 5-5 just two years later. Their 4-3 county record was good enough for a third-place tie with Winters Mill.
"This year, we really came together and had great chemistry," he said. "We also developed a greater trust in each other, and it was definitely worth the payoff."
The Maverick wide receiver led the county in receptions (44) and receiving yards (722), and tied for third in scoring with 10 touchdowns. Windisch was also one of the county's most dominant defenders, averaging nearly 10 tackles per game.
"He's the type of kid who always played hard," said Tony Shermeyer, the Mavericks' head football coach. "Marty's not the fastest kid in the world, but he's a smart player who really understands the game. He stepped up and became a natural leader for us."
After playing nearly every down during football season, Windisch rested 10 days before the start of basketball. A three-year starter who saw action at both point guard and small forward, he averaged 10.9 points per game during the Mavericks' 7-16 campaign.
"It's harder to build a basketball program," Windisch said. "In basketball, you have to look ahead to the next opponent because you play as many as three games a week.
"But beating the North Carroll Panthers in our gym was one of our favorite accomplishments. These seniors were the last to come from North Carroll, and when you were born and raised to be a Panther and then finally beat them, that's a feeling that you can never take back."