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Winning - Not Just a Wish for the Witmers

Posted November 13, 2016

When it comes to pure whitt and determination, count on Timmy Witmer (right) and his younger brother Stevie to give you more than that.


By Brayden Leather

There are many times in sports history where an equally talented star is forced to compete in the shadows of a teammate. Team USA Olympic swimmers who compete with Michael Phelps seem to get only half of the attention that Phelps does. Timmy Witmer will not tell you he lived in Darren Harman’s shadow for the last three years, but he knows it is true. Timmy probably doesn’t mind staying out of the spotlight, but his achievements - and his brother Stevie’s - have gone unnoticed to this point. Recently, I had a chance to catch up with the Witmer brothers to discuss their athletic careers to this point, and where they may go in the future.

Nearly half of Timmy Witmer’s senior season was ran on the Boonsboro High School course. It is where he and the rest of the cross country team punched a ticket to regionals to extend their season further. It’s where he along with all the other fellow senior runners in the county were honored for Senior Night. And it’s where many memories of in-county meets from his high school career live.Timmy says he likes how fast Boonsboro’s course is and how it is mostly flat and does not have many hills. “Knowing the course itself and being able to be familiar with the course, knowing where to kick, where to pick it up, where each critical turn or point on the course is where you can pass somebody and get some guys, it really helps and it makes the race that much easier,” Timmy had said about running at Boonsboro. He took advantage of the familiarity during the county meet and finished in the top ten in the boys race en route to helping the boys finish third in the county and qualify for regionals. At regionals, Timmy finished 14th in the boys race and helped the boys team qualify for a spot in states. At states, Timmy finished 28th with a 17:29:35 course time.

Before he became a star runner for South High, Timmy Witmer played baseball like his younger brother does. Stevie started playing baseball when he was four years old, playing on Timmy’s t-ball team, which he claims helped give him an early start and a love for the game. “It made me a lot better trying to compete with the older kids… That kinda gave me the drive to be as good as I am today and made me want to keep going.” Stevie said. He hopes to one day play baseball in college. Stevie started playing basketball in what he estimates was when he was in second grade when his friends encouraged him to try it out. Timmy also played basketball when he was younger in addition to baseball and soccer. After he ran out of eligibility to compete in Little League baseball after his sixth grade year, Timmy decided it was time to hang up the baseball cleats and trade them in for running shoes. Timmy started out competing as part of a local track and field club called Mountain Express. Timmy says he realized he was better at the longer distance races and credits his two years of running in middle school for helping him smoothly transition into high school competition.

The Witmer brothers are basically a living highlight reel. If it’s not Timmy collecting hardware at his meets, it’s Stevie making an amazing throw from the shortstop position to nail a runner at first base on the baseball diamond. But what could possibly stand out as the highlight of their athletic careers? “My highlight would most definitely be being moved up for varsity baseball to play shortstop. That was so unreal to me. I never thought I was able to do that and just one day we’re practicing in the gym and coach Pat Moore called me over to the corner and was like, ‘how would you like to play varsity baseball?’ My eyes got all big, my heart was pounding. [It] was nothing I had ever expected.” Stevie, a sophomore, had said about when he was called-up as a freshman to be the starting shortstop for the varsity baseball team last school year. Stevie thanked the coaching staff for giving him more confidence in his abilities and helping his teammates gain confidence in him causing them to work better together. He also added his achievements of making the state cross country meet as a freshman last year as well as winning the junior legion state championship with Funkstown Legion in baseball over the summer. Timmy’s highlight is more cross country-related rather than track. “The success we’ve had as a team as well as individual success,” He also noted with the boys team winning the city championship earlier in the season, he personally can say he never lost a city championship in cross country. He also added how proud he was to win saying going into the meet he wanted to win badly. “It’s really great we won it as a team again.” A more personal highlight to Timmy was qualifying for the state cross country meet and finishing 21st in the race last year.

Every athlete has their goals for what they would like to achieve. For most professionals, winning a championship is the ultimate goal, but winning in the first place is the overall goal. For Timmy and Stevie Witmer, they obviously want to win, but they have other goals that go more personally. “Basketball season is right around the corner so I hope to make the JV basketball team but I don’t know if basketball will be in my future but I’m still going to continue to play it but my main goal would be hopefully making it back up to that varsity level for baseball. We have these new coaches coming in, the last ones left, but I feel this year I have more confidence in myself for sure… Definitely get back up there and hit and field better.” One of Timmy’s goals has already been achieved. He wanted to make the state cross country meet again this year. So he did, along with his teammates and claimed his second straight state medal. However, one goal he fell short on. Timmy wanted to finish in the top ten in the state meet; he finished 18 spots shy in 28th. “I would like to continue my success from cross country to indoor and outdoor track and hopefully make the state meet. Last year in indoor I fell five seconds short of the qualification time in the two mile and it killed me after that meet. I was that close. I still haven’t made the state meet for track yet whether indoor or outdoor which to me it just sucks because I really want to do it because I’ve made it in cross country for my sophomore and junior year and to not make it in track is where I feel like I can make it so I definitely want to try and make it this year.”

The Witmers have excelled both academically and athletically in their lifetime and they both seem to have their post high school lives planned out to an extent. Timmy says he basically wants to follow in the footsteps of his cross country coach, Mr. Rudy, and get into teaching and coaching after college. He doesn’t know where he will go to school yet but he hopes to continue his cross country or track career if possible. Stevie also wants to go to college and hopes to play baseball while working toward his degree but he has not fully decided on where he wants to go and what degree he would like to pursue. But he still has time being he still has two more years of high school after this year. The Witmer brothers continue to outperform expectations in their respective sports and will without a doubt be very successful in whatever they do after high school. Until then, I suggest you keep an eye out for them next time you are at a track meet or a baseball or basketball game because of what they can achieve not only individually, but together with their teams.