Greg Hennigar Tribute Page
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Greg Hennigar, former star QB at Father Judge (Class of 2002), died
Note of appreciation from Marie Hennigar . . .
As Greg's Mom it is very hard to put into words the loss
that I am feeling. All of you have been true friends throughout this tragedy.
My dearest son, my baby, my comedian, my football player is missed every minute of the
day. He was a hero in my book, not only to people on the outside, but in our home too. He
was the most caring and considerate person to all. I miss him and love him, and
trying to stay strong to help my family get through this together along with his many
friends. I thank all of you for all your love and support, it does mean so much to
Greg's Mom #12 -- which is my birthday, 12/12
Contributions . . .
Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Greg. We
were just starting to be acquainted with Greg before this tragic happening. Our son
Scott had nothing but great things to say about Greg on and off the field. The fine
memories of a young man, who was cut short in his dreams, will never be forgotten.
Our prayers will be with you always.
-- The Paxson Family
(Ted's note: Scott Paxson, of Roman Catholic and Juniata, is defensive lineman for Penn State.)
I would like to express my deepest sympathy for Greg's
family and friends.
Although i did not grow up with Greg, I did have the privilege of befriending
him during our short time preparing for the All City Game. He was a great
football player, but even a greater person. He made everyone feel a part of the
team. His personality was unparalleled. He will be sorely missed by everyone.
-- Ryan Brody Non Pub Teammate (Roman)
I would like to first off thank Greg's parents for
raising a truly amazing human being and express my deepest condolence and sympathy to
Greg's family. I've only known Greg for the past four years but feel like I've known him
my entire life. That's just the kind of person he was. A warm spirit who was liked by
everyone he came in contact with. Greg's motivation and high expectations of himself
always rubbed off on those around him. Whether if it was in the weight room or on the
football field Greg was one who we all looked up to and the kind of person who we all
would have liked to be a little bit more like. His name and his dreams will never be
-- Bryan Thomas Father Judge Teammate "01"
Greg was one of the greatest guys in the world. He was so funny. You
could bust up laughing just by the facial expressions he made.If you were talking to greg
there was no way you wouldnt walk away from him without laughing. I played football
with Greg for two years and he was an excellent leader and was someone you could always
look up to or rely on. He was a beautiful athlete. Just barely 200 lbs., he could bench
press 315 lbs. and could throw a football like a rocket. He will be sorely missed and it
will be hard to go on without thinking of Greg everyday. My prayers and thoughts go out to
his family and friends through this tuff time and tragic loss.
-- Ryan Prodoehl (judge teammate) OL/class of 03'
Poem by A.E. Housman, sent by someone who wishes to remain anonymous
I just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the
Hennigar family at this time. I am a teammate of Sean Hennigar's up at Lycoming College,
and Greg would come up a few times on the weekends. We knew each other, but not well. He
knew me from this site, and I knew him for bringing the Father Judge Football team back to
the top of the Catholics League. I spent a Friday Night with him and I can truly say,
after only a few hours, he was one of the funniest and most enjoyable kids I have ever
been around. Greg was truly an inspiration to all those who set goals and worked their
hardest to achieve those goals, their aren't many people like him. He was truly a rare and
gifted human being.
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn for men who have died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
(Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.)
--- Michael P. Kozak (Bonner '02)
wanted to write a quick note to say that we Judge graduates have a "thing"about
what a Judge guy is and that young Mr.Hennigar(oh God so young)was indeed a perfect
exemplar of that Judge guy thing.He now joins our 27 and all those other fallen
Crusaders.May God hold him in his arms and may He grant his family comfort.
As we filtered through the crowd under the stands at
Beaver Stadium during this years Blue/White game, we realized that finding Greg
would not be an easy task. The Penn State players were signing autographs under the stands
this year rather than on the field due to the rain. Making our way around people, I could
see that red hair in the distance. As we approached him, he was surrounded by people and
was signing his name to anything that was put in front of him. We waited and as he
looked up, we were greeted with the broadest smile you could imagine. Smiles, hugs, and an
appreciative and welcoming warmth were always obvious when we saw Greg. And always,
his next question was, "How is John doing, is he here, how's rugby going" . We
have known Greg for five years and were of the privaleged few of friends and family
who saw him run out of that Beaver Stadium tunnel and could talk with him shortly after
that game last year and ask "how did it feel"
We will always remember Greg not for his football exploits but for the content of his character, his work ethic, his loyalty to family and friends, his humor and the way in which he invited us into his life and shared in our life as well. We will miss Greg, but thank God every day for having known him.
-- THE GAYNORS
I am a freshman football player at judge and to be honest i did not no Greg very well, but many friends of mine were close with him. Every one of them have nothing but good things to say about him. It would be easy to talk about how great a football player Greg was, but what he will be remembered for most is what a great guy he was. I would also like to send my condolences to Greg's family. We lost a great quarter back, but we all lost an even better friend.This is truly a sad time for everybody because a great freind, teamate and person has been lost. Greg Hennigar was a great person who brought happiness to everyone around him with either his great sense of humor or his kindness. Greg was everything Father Judge teaches us to be and lived it in his life. Words can not express the love his teamates, freinds and community had for him. He was definetly one of the funniest guys I have ever known with all of his faces, impersonations and those strange noises during stretches. He was someone who I looked up to and someone we could all take a lesson from on how to live life. Greg you will always be remembered and loved.
Greg Hennigar was a former co-captain of I during the 2001 season. He was a junior, and for a junior to be a captain says a whole lot about what kind of player and person he was. I played football with Sean Hennigar for Torresdale Boys Club, therefor thats how i knew greg and his parents. I would like to comment on the increddible job that Greg's parents have done on raising Greg. Greg was the kind of young man that we all want to be like. All though Greg made a HUGE impact on Father Judge, he also made an impact on Penn State University as just a freshman. It was an honor to play ball with Greg and Sean, and to have known his great family. I still can't beleive the young man who handed me the ball off 100's of times has passed on to heaven. The only logical reason that i can think of for such a lost is that Greg was too good for earth and therefor he was rewarded with Heaven. One Love Greg #12...
I just wanted to say my prayers and thoughts are with the Hennigar family. I am a teammate of Greg's older brother Sean at Lycoming College.I didn't have the pleasure of meating Greg until this year, but in the two times that we met i knew Greg was special. Both of the two times that I met him he had the ablity to make the people around him laugh and have a good time. I wish i had met him sonner. My prayers and condolences go out to his familiy and friends. He is a great person that will truly be missed by all
-- Sean Murphy (NC, '02)
A friend of mine told me about Gregs passing, I didnt think it was true at
first. I thought maybe he heard a name that sounded similar to Gregs and he
made a mistake, unfortunately he was right. I didnt know Greg to well, I
just knew him from the all star game last year. At the banquet I had a
conversation with him and a few Prep kids, he seemed to be a real cool level
headed guy. We all talked about our future plans and he talked about him
going to PSU as a walk on very confidently. I heard that he was doing well
up there not to long ago, I was glad to hear that(a philly boy made good for
a change). Then I heard he passed.
Its such a shame that someone who seemed to have a bright future ahead
of him, then have it tragically taken away. To his friends and family I
offer my condolences, im sorry for your loss.
-- Russell Kubach Mastbaum '02
I would like to give my deepest condlences to the family of a fellow
red devision player and a fellow college football player even though I dont
know the family my heart goes out to you.
-- Ed Smith #70 Roman Catholic (02)
Our prayers will always be with you.
-- Jack Rutter
Marie, Doug and Sean,
Just read the Daily News today about Ricky Lannetti. I know today will be hard with the pictures in the paper. We think of you guys always. I see Greg every day in his cousin Steve. He walks through the cafeteria he looks just like Greg. He is just as polite and friendly too. Whenever I see Steve and he smiles at me, I see Greg in his smiling eyes. Hope to see you guys soon. Take care.
-- Love, Debbie Murray
Following is a story Ted wrote about Greg's decision to attend Penn State . . .
Judge QB gets chance as Penn State walk-on
There was nothing wrong with the schools and football programs on Greg
Hennigar's original list of possible college destinations.
But everything is right with where he's winding up.
"I've wanted to go there since I was 5 years old," he said.
"There" is Penn State.
Hennigar, a 6-3, 200-pound quarterback from Father Judge High, has agreed to join the Nittany Lions as a preferred walk-on. How everything fell into place is rather amazing.
Hennigar attended Penn State's football camp after his freshman and sophomore seasons. But after his junior season, he was told the Nittany Lions had enough quarterbacks on scholarship and would not be recruiting at that position.
In December, on a whim, Hennigar sent Penn State a tape from his senior season. Included were overall highlights and full games vs. Neshaminy and West Catholic.
"They called and said they liked it," Hennigar said. "But I sure didn't expect them to come to see me at school. When [assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden] was down here recruiting, he stopped in at Judge. But that was a day when I was visiting Lycoming."
Talks took place later. Soon, Hennigar was being encouraged to join the team as a walk-on. Not only that, he was traveling to State College with his parents, Doug and Marie, to watch a practice, check out the facilities, meet Joe Paterno, etc.
"I got to sit in on a film session for the quarterbacks," Hennigar said. "It was me and three other guys. I got a chance to start picking up on their terminology.
"This happened because Matt Senneca told them [in mid-January] that he wouldn't be coming back for a fifth year. They wanted to have another quarterback. They said they'll redshirt me the first year to give me some spacing [from the other QBs]. I'll have to pay the first year with financial aid and loans, it won't be too bad - and whether I get a scholarship after that will depend on how well I prove myself. That's all I want, a chance."
Hennigar originally had his list down to Mansfield, Kutztown and Ursinus in addition to Lycoming.
"I couldn't make a decision, which turned out to be good," he said.
Hennigar spent two seasons, both cut short by injury, as Judge's QB starter. In 15 games, he passed 149-for-297 for 1,879 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Following is a story about Greg from early in his senior season . . .
Hennigar leads Judge over O'Hara
Greg Hennigar wants to ride football as far as it will take him. But if his
final stop does not turn out to be the NFL . . .
"I'll just be on ESPN," he said.
Hennigar laughed when he said that, but he's serious about wanting to major in communications in college and become a broadcaster. And, little by little, he's showing the necessary personality.
Hennigar, a 6-3, 200-pound senior, is a promising quarterback at Father Judge High.
Last night, he passed 9-for-14 for 93 yards and a touchdown as the Crusaders clipped visiting Cardinal O'Hara, the defending champion, 21-14, in an entertaining Catholic Red opener.
Down the stretch, all Hennigar could do was watch as O'Hara, which received a 31-carry, 238-yard, two-TD outburst from sophomore Anthony Heygood, marched relentlessly downfield in an attempt to erase the deficit.
Check that. That wasn't all he could do.
"I got pretty excited just standing on the sideline," he said. "You want to be the quarterback given that kind of opportunity, in a 2-minute drill, but their guy [Colin Smith] was out there. I was watching him a little, trying to see how he did things, but mostly I was trying to get our crowd pumped up. I was turning toward the stands and waving. That's not really my style, but . . . I surprised myself."
O'Hara's hopes vanished when star receiver Harry Dougherty, who made a series of tough catches, fumbled at the 5 after a 14-yard reception. Jim McAteer (eight tackles) made the hit, Chris Bilotta the recovery. Just 17 seconds remained.
"We could see it from the sideline," Hennigar said. "The ball popped loose and [Bilotta] recovered out in the open."
Judge played for the second time without star rusher Justin O'Brien (broken wrist) and saw star linebacker Tom Lynch sidelined by an ankle injury that probably is not serious.
Hennigar, unfortunately, could relate. He broke his collarbone in Game No. 7 last season, when tackled from behind at ankle level, and was unavailable thereafter.
"When you just want to be out there and play," he said, "not being able to is worse than anything you can think of. After the injury, I just worked on getting back to normal and trying to do nice things this year."
Hennigar, who lives near Judge, sports a 3.5 grade-point average. He is receiving contact from colleges on all levels - "Iowa sent my dad [Doug] a Father's Day card," he said in amazement - and coach Tommy Coyle is trying to spread the word further.
"Considering I haven't done much yet to deserve [being pursued], it feels funny," Hennigar said. "I'm concentrating on the season and doing nice things with my teammates. I'll worry later about the rest."