Jeff Woodward had big shoes to fill when he arrived at Methacton.
They weren’t someone else’s but rather the shoes the now 6-foot-10 Woodward planned to grow into during his four seasons with the Warriors.
Woodward evolved from a passive 6-foot-5 freshman who was nervous not to make a mistake for the upperclassmen into a dominant big man who consistently flushed two-handed jams and swatted away opponents’ shots during the last four years.
The Warriors’ senior center, who was a third team all-state selection last year, was announced as a first team all-state selection by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers on Saturday. He was joined by senior teammate Erik Timko, who was a second team all-state selection.
“Coming in my freshman year, I knew I had the opportunity to do things like this, achieve things like this, not just with my team, but personally,” Woodward said. “I’ve always kind of known I could play at this level. The fact that I was honored with something like this, it’s just really cool. It shows the progression I’ve made, and it obviously shows the progression that Erik’s made too.”
Woodward and Timko were the last two players distinguished as the Mercury All-Area Player of the Year with Woodward winning the award last season and Timko taking home the honor this year.
Woodward averaged a double-double with 13.7 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game this season. The Colgate University commit also averaged 2.1 assists from the post and anchored a defense that held opponents to fewer than 43 points per game. He leaves Methacton with a school-record 1,448 career points and school-record 1,139 rebounds.
Timko, a 6-foot-3 guard, set a program record with 600 points this season, averaging 20 per game. He shot 56.7 percent from the field and 45.6 percent from behind the 3-point arc, knocking down 83 shots from deep this season. Timko also went 106-of-116 from the free throw line, good for a 91.4 percent clip.
While Woodward was a four-year varsity starter for the Warriors, Timko didn’t join the varsity ranks until his junior year, turning himself into one of the area and state’s most prolific scorers during that time. He finished his career with 1,092 points and 160 made threes in two seasons.
“I felt like more of a leader, a lot more vocal than I have been in past years,” Timko said of the strides he took on the court. “I felt like that helped. I also felt some of the improvements I made in the offseason, getting faster, stronger and working on my game, that helped me get more confident and do more on the court.”
“Our play style really fit my game perfectly,” Timko added. “(My coaches) gave me a ton of confidence to be myself and be the player that I am.”
Timko and Woodward paired with seniors Owen Kropp and Brett Eberly (Elizabethtown College) to lead Methacton to a 52-10 record over the last two seasons.
The Warriors, who finished 28-2, captured their third straight Pioneer Athletic Conference title and the first District 1 championship in program history this year.
The senior quartet, along with sophomore Cole Hargrove and Brett Byrne and junior Ryan Baldwin, helped advance Methacton to the PIAA quarterfinals for the second straight year, where they were set to face Roman Catholic (one of the two teams to beat the Warriors) before the season was ended by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Those guys they helped push us and they helped shape us both into the players we are now right now,” Woodward said, “which then obviously helped us get these individual awards but more importantly, helped us do the things we were doing on the court as a team.”
Woodward and Timko started playing together in elementary school on the Audubon Recreation Association travel. They end their high school career together as two of the top players in the state.
“Since I’ve been playing with him for a while, it’s really cool to see both of us have success and grow as players over the years, and see all that hard work pay off,” Timko said.
Ethan Morton, 6-5 Sr. G, Butler
William Jeffress, 6-7 Sr. F, Erie McDowell
Jalen Duren, 6-9 Soph. F, Roman Catholic
Jhamir Brickus, 5-11 Sr. G, Coatesville
Stevie Mitchell, 6-2 Jr. G, Wilson
Jeff Woodward, 6-10 Sr. F, Methacton
Lynn Greer, 6-1 Sr. G, Roman Catholic
Ike Herster, 6-6 Sr. F, Kennedy Catholic
Karell Watkins, 6-4 Jr. F, Chester
Justice Williams, 6-3 Sophomore G, Roman Catholic
Erik Timko, 6-3 Sr G, Methacton
Yasir Stover, 6-0 Sr. G, Simon Gratz
Jaelen McGlone, 6-4 Sr. G, Cheltenham
Shaquil Bender, 6-2 Sr. G, Abraham Lincoln
Zach Rocco, 6-2 Sr. G, Penn-Trafford
Jake Hoffman, , 6-3 Sr. F, Mt. Lebanon
Akeem Taylor, 6-4 Sr. G, Chester
Caleb Mims, 6-0 Sr. G, Bethlehem Freedom
Player of the year: Ethan Morton, Butler
Coach of the year: Matt Coldren, Wilson