For some schools, the need for multi-sport athletes is vital to the success of the athletic program.
“We live on the two- and three-sport athletes,” Wyomissing football coach Bob Wolfrum said. “If our kids only did one, we wouldn’t have enough kids to field teams.”
For Amory Thompson, his extensive career with the Wyomissing Spartans was symbiotic as competing in football, basketball and running track allowed him to grow as a person and an athlete.
“I think it’s a great thing to do,” Thompson said of being a multi-sport athlete. “You learn about different sports but you meet so many new people. All coaches teach you different lessons and sports really help set you up for life after high school. ”
Thompson, a team captain in every sport he played during his senior year, was a vital member of the Wyomissing football team that won its third straight District 3 Class 3A championship and advanced to its second straight PIAA final. In addition, his third-place finish in the triple jump and talents as a sprinter helped the Spartans boys track and field squad win Class 2A team titles at the district meet and the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
Being a part of a winning culture helped Thompson find the confidence to not only grow, but also excel. He was an All-State selection in Class 3A at cornerback as selected by the coaches and as an athlete on defense by the Pennsylvania Football Writers. In track, he was District 3 Class 2A champ in the triple jump, 200 dash and 400 relay.
“Doing three sports, I’ve learned a lot from every single coach that I’ve had,” Thompson said. “I feel like it did not only help with football, but with basketball and track and field as well. All my coaches preached things that help you out in the game, but things that will help you out in life. I’m going to use those things to carry on throughout, not only sports, but life as well. ”
The benefits worked both ways, as the 2022 Reading Eagle Athlete of the Year finalist personified the ideal student-athlete and role model for future Spartans, according to that Wyomissing athletic director and assistant football coach Frank Ferrandino.
“I know all the kids that participate in our youth sports look up to him,” Ferrandino said. “He’s what you want. He does well in school. He does really well in athletics. And he’s a good person. So those are certainly the kids that you’d like to model your programs after.
“They (the Wyomissing fans) see that big smiling face all the time after the games and I think that carries a long way. From an athletic director’s standpoint, he’s the kind of kid you want representing your programs. ”
Thompson improved in every sport he played throughout his career, but said he believed he grew the most as a football player. That’s the sport he will continue in college as a cornerback at California University of Pennsylvania.
“I started off as a sophomore playing corner at around 140 pounds,” said Thompson, now lists as 6-1, 185. “I got put in there just to go through the motions because somebody got hurt. But as the season went on, I felt like I took my body physically and mentally to a whole other level in order to play at a higher level. So then I feel like junior and senior year it showed up a lot and I could do a lot more than I did my sophomore year. ”
Wolfrum agreed that Thompson’s development as a shutdown corner, as well as at running back, further solidified the Spartans’ status as a powerhouse.
“You get spoiled and I was a much better coach when he was on the field,” Wolfrum said. “He was a good corner right from the beginning, but towards the end people didn’t even try to throw the ball out there.
“The good thing about him was he was a really good coverage guy and he was also a good tackler, so we could get him into the run (defense). It was really nice to have a cornerback who we didn’t have to worry about if we left him alone in coverage because he could do it and that allows you to do a lot of other stuff. ”
As a senior, Thompson had 35 tackles, one interception, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and three pass break-ups. As a running back, he ran for 911 yards, averaging 8.7 yard per carry, caught seven passes for 73 yards and scored 17 touchdowns.
Although Thompson has many high-profile plays from football, Ferrandino said he believes that Thompson’s defining moment came at a time when few people were there to see his greatness.
“In the state semifinals (in 2020), I can remember he made a one-handed catch in a corner,” said Ferrandino of a game Wyomissing hosted due to the pandemic. “That was just a highlight-reel catch. It was a miraculous catch in the corner of the end zone during COVID, where we couldn’t let people into the game, so outside of the stadium had more people than the inside of the stadium. And I think that was just a great moment for him and for the program that stands out in my mind. ”
Thompson’s skills on the football field transferred to the basketball court, where he averaged 9.8 points per game last season and earned all-division honors while helping the Spartans (12-11) qualify for the District 3 Class 4A playoffs.
He capped his year by dominating in track, earning All-Berks honors in the triple jump and all-division recognition in the 100, 200 and 110 hurdles and helping the team win titles at the district and state meets.
“I think that’s the great thing about track and field is that you blend the fall and winter seasons together,” Wyomissing track coach Jim Delp said. “It’s such a wide array of differences in athletics and they completely support each other, so it’s fun to watch.”
Thompson’s bronze medal-winning 45-3 in the triple jump at the PIAA championships was the culmination of his career as a jumper. Though he was disappointed he did not break the school record of 45-5.75 set by Nolan McCready in 2002, Thompson said reaching 45 feet was a goal he has been working toward all year.
Always looking to learn and improve his game, Thompson said that he had a unique week of preparation heading into his last athletic performance as a Spartan.
“I’m not gonna lie, I watched a couple of triple jumping YouTube videos on the way over,” Thompson said.
Thompson also earned a state sixth-place medal in the 200 in 22.45 and was part of the 400 relay team, with Andrew Delp, William Delp and Charlie McIntyre, that finished sixth in 43.63.
“Not only that triple jump but actually winning a state championship,” Thompson said of the highlight of his track career. “We tried to do it in football and came really close, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities that we had. Throughout the whole track season, I felt like I knew that we’d have a very good chance of winning the state team title.
“I feel like a lot of people asked me, ‘Do you guys think you can win it all?’ and I always said yes because I felt that we had a really great chance. With (state shot put and discus champ) Jven (Williams) doing everything he could, all the relay teams doing everything they could, everybody worked together. It really did pay off in that state title and that’s something I’m gonna have for the rest of my life. I can say I’m a state champion. ”
While winning a state title with the track team surely is up there on Thompson’s list of memorable moments, he said the three district championships with the football team stand out as the most impactful.
“I feel like every single district championship that we had was a really great moment,” Thompson said. “Especially sophomore year against Middletown. It wasn’t the best game for me personally, but I feel like as a team, we really pulled things together and from then on out, I feel like that game created what we had for our junior and senior years. You know, we really set the tone in that game and feel like that carried on throughout the rest of the games that we play for the rest of my football career. ”
As he continues on his football journey at Cal, Thompson said he hopes to continue to grow and further his legacy as a champion by accomplishing more at a higher level.
“(At Cal) I’m playing defensive back just like I did here after my sophomore year,” Thompson said. “I’m looking at developing myself as a person, mentally and physically. I’m trying to take myself to another level. As you know, college is a lot different from high school. Everybody’s more developed and older than you are so you just have to adapt and overcome. ”