Keith Witherell '20 and Family
Family means different things to different people. For some, it’s a sense of belonging. For others, it’s being a part of something bigger than themselves. For many, it’s everything. To junior men’s soccer forward, Keith Witherell, from Arlington, VA, family means something different from what you might expect.
At age two, Witherell was adopted by Andy Witherell and Kathy Pryce. The family welcomed young Keith as they began growing a family that would be a little non-traditional by the standard definition of an American nuclear family.
Witherell is the oldest of four siblings, all of whom are adopted and range in ethnicity from African-American, like Keith, to Asian to Hispanic, making the Witherell household a melting pot of cultures and diversity. They are also a foster family to other children. “It is amazing as a young child, I never saw race,” says Witherell. “They were my family and it was never something we talked about in the house. It’s still a little amusing to see how people react when they meet my parents [who are white]. I get a lot of double takes when people meet my parents for the first time.”
Having a diverse family has helped Witherell on many different levels. “My family has given me a different view of the world,” he says. “I find that I am more accepting and inclusive of people than I might have been otherwise. It has helped me be a better teammate and a better person because of my experience at home.”
After spending his redshirt freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Witherell called Spartan Head Coach Evan Scheffey to see if he was interested in having Witherell join the soccer program. Once he made the decision to come to York, there were a few growing pains. As a former Division I athlete, Witherell had to adjust to the Division III lifestyle. “I came in and thought I could just walk onto the field and be great,” he says. “That wasn’t the case, but Coach Scheffey worked with me and made sure that I rose to the standard of our program.”
Witherell is having his best season so far in 2018. He already has three points in just four games for the 3-1 Spartans. He says, “Everything works out for a reason and there is no doubt in my mind that York College has been the best decision I could have made.”