For people who may not know Josh Derricott, he’s a man of few words.
At least until you get to know him.
Derricott, a sophomore high jumper hails from Johnstown. A member of the track and field team, Derricott also recently changed his major from marine biology to history.
Why would someone who was so comfortable in college as a sophomore change his major?
“I always thought about being a marine biologist because I love the ocean, but I realized that I only liked sharks,” he said, “I have always found history to be interesting, I’ve always had a thing for it since I was little.”
Another big part of Derricott’s life is family. Whether at home, school or track, there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family.
“They are the reason I continue to push myself in sports and school, and they helped me through my decision when I was changing my major,” he said.
Derricott has frequently thought about ending his track career. Like any sport, it’s a large time commitment, and Derricott has already dealt with shoulder injuries. Whatever is to come for Derricott, he knows he’ll have his the support of those who are closest.
“I know they want what is best for me, and they know all I’ve gone through while doing Track.”
Derricott has a great connection with both his mom and dad. Both are always there for him if he needs them. Josh and his father have a bond over a board game called Heroscape. An expansion board game that was discontinued in 2010.
“My dad and I are huge nerds when we play this game, we get into it,” he said.
Hayley Sweeney, a freshman women’s tennis player at t Waynesburg University is also from Johnstown and is Derricott’s cousin.
Sweeney described Derricott in one word.
“Motivated.” she said. “Josh has always had a passion for a lot of the things he does. When he finds something that interests him, he does it.”
Being able to grow up beside Derricott for most of her life, Sweeney has got to know him well and the person he is and the impact he has on his family.
“Josh has always been a big helper,” she said, “Especially to his immediate family, which has six other kids. He is always the first to volunteer to help even without asking. He is such a good role model to his little brother and baby sister.”
Derricott and Sweeney have a close family bond and connection since they are close in age.
“Josh and I are only one year apart so we grew up together.” Sweeney said, “We spent a lot of time together at our grandmothers, which I believe made us very close cousins to this day.”