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Written by: Billy Splain on Thursday, June 25th, 2020
After the end of the his 2018 (junior) season, Canton DB/WR Timmy Ward took his 84 tackles (52 were solo tackles, 4 for a loss), his 11 interceptions, his 36 receptions for 645 yards and 7 touchdowns as a wide receiver, his 359 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns and his second straight All-State honor, and headed to the doctor. The diagnosis wasn’t what any high school-age kid or his parents wants to hear, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The treatments would cost the talented athlete his 2018 winter/spring and 2019 fall season. Fast forward to March 2020. He was granted another season of eligibility by the PIAA and his return to sports after being being off for nearly a year couldn’t have started any better. Healthy and ready to go, he hit the mats for his return to wrestling. The result? Only a 6th place finish in the state. Canton’s Timmy Ward is back from a battle that he wants to leave behind him, and ready to play his favorite sport: Football.
Cancer is behind him and he’s ready to move on but the Covid shutdown has him waiting again.
“It Sucks!” said Ward bluntly of the pandemic shutting down sports. “For a while it was annoying, having to stay home but now that it seems to be passing on as things are getting better, I’m done with it.” When asked about the precautions that many are taking and whether his past is affecting his approach to getting back to sports, Timmy says for him, he just wants to “live life”. “I’m not really doing anything differently. There’s always a chance, you know, like I didn’t know what happened to me was going to happen, so I’m just going out there to live and enjoy life.”
Ward, who had just gone through a year of hell, missed a year of wrestling and baseball seasons, a year of football, then came roaring back to that sixth place finish in wrestling, only to have another baseball season ripped away from him due to the Covid-19 shut down. If anyone is hungry to get back on the field, I don’t think there’s a player in Pennsylvania that wants to “eat” this fall more than Canton’s Timmy Ward.
Ward sporting his PIAA Medal with girlfriend
“Couple years ago nobody thought we’d have this kind of situation and now here we are and we’re talking about possibly not having a fall sports season or maybe even winter. Who knows how long this is going to last so it’s kind of a crazy experience for everybody. We’re all in the same situation and waiting right now” Ward said when asked about the anticipation of returning to the field. “We’re getting together as friends and practicing but not having our coaches there, and not practicing as a whole team together, that’s just hard”.
He’s excited to get back on the field for a reason. Canton should be one of the top teams in the state with the talent they have returning. That makes the wait even harder for a player on a small town team that would have a once in a decade or three team. “He just loves football and it’s his favorite sport so I can’t even imagine what he’s going through” said Canton Head Coach, Tyler Sechrist. “He’s a great kid. His battle is behind him and he’s always about his teammates and he wants to concentrate on that. He’s one of those kids who comes around once in a decade.” “Yeah, we should be really good this year” said Ward, “and I’m hoping to make a run deep in the state playoffs. We’re up here in the north country and we’re definitely under the radar up here.”
Missing a year of football might not be that bad for Timmy according to Sechrist. “He was always around, he helped us this year. He was always like a coach on the field so he helped coach from the sidelines. There’s some games last year without Timmy Wards that we lost that we would have won. I’m just glad to have him back.”
Let’s check in and learn just a little bit more about Timmy Ward:
PA State Westling Championship – Placed 6th in the state, 40-9
PA Football News All -Academic Gold Team
Elected to the National Honor Society
Named to the “The Super 16 Dream Team” on WNEP TV an ABC affiliate out of Scranton PA
Pennsylvania Football Writers All-State Team Class 1A as a Defensive Back
PA Preps – Junior Defensive Back Of the Year
Eastern PA Football Class 1A Player of the Year
Pennsylvania Football Writers All-State Team Class 1A as Wide Receiver
How long have you been playing football?
What other sports do you play?
track, baseball, wrestling
What has been you favorite moment on the field?
My team beating our rival in the final minutes in front of a great crowd.
What is game day routine?
Wake up and watch film while I get ready for school, listen to my playlist on my way to school, after school I watch more film and listen to music until it’s time to hit the field.
Who is your favorite athlete?
Sean Taylor is my all-time favorite athlete because he was a ball hawk and big hitter.
Do you plan on going to college and playing football?
Do you have any college offers?
What are your team and personal goals for the season?
District title and a state run for my team and 1,000 rushing 1,000 receiving along with 12 interceptions and 130 tackles
Do you prefer offense or defense
What is your favorite thing to do off of the field?
Hunt and Fish
What is your favorite TV show
Last Chance U
What type of music do you listen to?
mostly 80’s rock
What is the best part about playing football for Canton
The legacy you have the opportunity to uphold with your friends.
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