Currently viewing the tag: "catoctin high school"

Aaron Meekins

Courtesy Photo

CYA Wrestling Team performs stretching exercises, one part of the team’s hour warmup.

With an orangish tint painting the sun setting early in the evening sky, kids from the ages of 4-14 can be seen getting out of cars in the Catoctin High School parking lot. With the vapor of their breath leading the way in the cold winter Thurmont nights, they head inside the school and upstairs past the locker rooms into Catoctin High’s team wrestling room. The ceilings are low, but the energy in the room is high. Cold, wintry temperatures are replaced with the heat only given off by bodies continually hard at work, the smell of sweat lingering as the high schoolers exit the room, welcoming a new generation of grapplers. The young wrestlers are met by a number of enthusiastic coaches, led by longtime CYA Wrestling coach, Cory Bell. Coach Cory has led CYA wrestling for 14 years. Assisting Cory in leading this year’s group are his dedicated fellow coaches: Brandon Rivera, Steve Byington, Garrett Baer, Billy Jenkins, Ethan Fuss, Charlie Perilla III, Charlie “Chas” Perilla IV, Shawn Smith, and Dennis Pittinger.

After the young wrestlers have worked up a sweat, jogging around the mats, doing bear crawls, front rolls, cartwheels, and other calisthenics, they are split up based on age and weight to begin their wrestling-specific workouts and training, each group led by a caring and knowledgeable coach. When this aspect of training is over, the group comes together for a group challenge or game. Meant to build team spirit, Cory and his team of coaches use these group challenges or games to instill a spirit of teamwork in a sport that can be seen as an individualistic endeavor to a casual fan. After the young wrestlers have been thoroughly warmed up, struggled through head locks, been taken down in a myriad of ways, and finally completed a series of sprints, they come together as a group and on a count of three, yell, “Family.”

This season, CYA Wrestling has 42 members of this “Family.” They are not only led by their coaches, but by a group of eighth graders looking to leave a mark in their final youth season: Jacob Thibadeau, Ashton Thompson, Kamerin Jenkins, Beau Andrew, and Seamus Riddle. For these eighth graders, this is their final year in the youth program before they have the opportunity to wrestle at the high school level. Moving on to the high school arena will not be completely unfamiliar territory to them, as many of the high school wrestlers were also part of Cory’s CYA “Family” and continue to come out and give support at the youth matches.

On February 4, at noon, wrestlers from Thurmont, Hagerstown, and Boonsboro will leave their cars, bundled in winter coats, making their way into the Catoctin High School gymnasium. Mats will cover the court, scoreboards and match trees will be on tables next to the three individual fields of action. They will warm up for an hour—a mix of cardio, calisthenics, and wrestling moves. By 1:00 p.m., the gym will be packed with wrestlers, parents, and families to cheer them on.

Intense action follows, one-minute round after one-minute round. Heard from afar are coaches yelling directions and parents and fans cheering their wrestlers on. After their match, one wrestler has their hand raised by the referee. All those cold winter nights, sweaty gym sessions, bruised bodies, and bloody lips are now contradicted by smiles, friendly competition, camaraderie, and the encouraging “Family” atmosphere. It has all now come to fruition. All the kids will have won because they had the courage to go out there and try in a very intense, physical atmosphere.

Last season, CYA Wrestling represented itself well at the Mid-Maryland Wrestling League (MMWL) Championships, which included teams from Washington, Frederick, and Carroll counties, and also a club from Germantown. While many wrestled valiantly but came up a little short, wrestlers Brody Bell (1st place), Grayson Stroble (2nd Place), Grayson Baer (4th place), Xavier Meekins (3rd place), and Liam Jenkins (4th place) all placed and found themselves on the podium in their respective weight classes.

This season, CYA will host wrestling tournaments on February 4 at 1:00 p.m. and February 26 at 8:00 a.m. at Catoctin High School. They have eight competitions during their season to prepare for their culminating tournament, the MMWL Championships on March 5. If you are interested in seeing CYA Wrestling in action, please come to one of the meets and cheer on our kids! Food and refreshments are available at the concession stand. Admission is free.

Ryan Tokar, Thurmont Little League  

It’s been a fairly mild winter thus far, yet it’s still hard to believe that the spring season will begin in just a few short weeks. The registration period for our Thurmont Little League (TLL) baseball and softball programs will close on February 11. A special in-person registration and fundraising night will take place at Roy Rogers on Wednesday, February 1, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., with 25 percent of proceeds from all orders going to the league. Come on out for a great meal to support TLL and get your players registered.

Speaking of fundraisers, we are once again selling discount cards, which are always a popular item. For $20.00 you can purchase a card for unlimited usage at many of your favorite local businesses, everything from a free drink to 10 percent off your order. Please contact the league on Facebook or by email at thetllnetwork@gmail.com for more information. You may also pick one up at several of the participating restaurants.

There is still a lot of other work to be done before the season starts. Evaluations for the Minor and Major divisions will be held at Catoctin High School on Sunday, February 12, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., with a draft for each age group taking place the following weekend. After that, practices should start up in late February or early March, weather permitting. Plans are being made for our opening day celebration on April 1, which will, once again, be split into two ceremonies based on division level. There will be lots of fun activities, great prizes to be won, and maybe even appearances from a mascot or two! We have several food trucks tentatively lined up, with The Sauced Savage BBQ and Glamourview Dairy Bar returning as fan favorites. New this year will be Coco’s Grill serving up gyros, cheesesteaks, burgers, and other goodies. Fundraising efforts have already begun, with the league beginning to accept donations for the annual basket raffles.

As always, volunteers are welcomed and appreciated by the league. As most know, umpires and other officials are in short supply across the country. If you are interested in getting involved, MD District 2 Little League will be hosting an umpire clinic at Brunswick High School on February 19. The best part is that this is free for MD District 2 Umpires. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and door prizes will be given away throughout the day. Please reach out to us on Facebook or by email if you are interested in learning more.

Be sure to check out next month’s issue for even more details about our opening day festivities and all the other events going on to kickstart our 2023 season!

Michael Betteridge

The Catoctin High School Cougars wrestling team, led by second-year coach, Rick Reeder, has 14 wrestlers on the roster. Two of them are females, and they come from different ends of the timeline. One of the wrestlers, Emma Taylor, is a seasoned veteran in her senior year. Jennie Anne Smith, a freshman in her first year of wrestling, has caught the attention of county wrestlers. This is Reeder’s second year working with female wrestlers. He is no stranger to coaching young women, but not in wrestling. He was head coach of the Baltimore Charm, an all-women’s lingerie league arena football team back around 2010.

Coach Reeder took over last year for former Cougars football and wrestling sensation, Colin Schildt. Schildt replaced the legendary 2009 Coach of the Year Ryan Green, whose 10-year tenure as the Cougars wrestling head coach amassed a 144-99 record. Coach Reeder’s first year in 2022 produced a winning season in spite of a limited roster that caused some unfortunate forfeitures. As a matter of fact, Coach Reeder and former Coach Green, now good friends, had a bit of a rivalry on the mat back in the day, when they competed against each other. Coach Reeder played for Frederick and Coach Green played for Linganore.

Coach Reeder prides himself on teaching his team to be physically and mentally tough and believes that those attributes in a wrestler will help them succeed in life as well.

Trying to sell your wrestlers on toughness is not hard when 8 of the 14 wrestlers on your team play football for the Cougars. One of the toughest of those football players is senior Nathan Kovalcik. Nathan is 25-2 this season on the mat and has been recently contacted by Frostburg and Messiah. Nathan plans to wrestle in college and to pursue an engineering degree. Nathan is a heck of a football player, too. He made All-County second team linebacker, along with wrestling teammate All-County honorable mention offensive lineman, Jacob Bell. Those two pounded their opponents at the line of scrimmage much the same way they punish their opponents on the wrestling mat. Sophomore Jacob Bell is 26-1. Coach Reeder is no stranger to football players, having coached football at many different levels, including semi pro ball.

Speaking of coaching at different levels, Coach Reeder has brought several of his wrestlers up through the FCMC Frederick County Mat Club, a youth wrestling club that he has been involved in that develops young wrestlers during the offseason.

This team is building for the future with four seniors and four freshmen and sandwiched in between are a couple of very special sophomores (two) and juniors (two). Sophomore Hunter Bradshaw is 24-3 and two of his wins have been against State finishers. Sophomore Jacob Bell is 26-1. The two freshmen, Dylan Gray and Caleb Wolf, came up through the local CYA system and are making big contributions to this Cougars wrestling team.

Coach Reeder, in his quest to instill toughness, recently added a new dimension to his training: Crossfit. He has the team doing an intense Crossfit workout, then immediately back to the mats to wrestle. The Cougars have a good, well-coached wrestling team that puts the focus on team dynamics in a one-on-one sport.

Stay tuned…Catoctin Cougars wrestling is making a mark!

James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont Middle School Administrative Secretary Christine Newman was going through the long-unused cabinets in the old records room of the school when she came across a time capsule of sorts.

The cabinets contained books of middle school class photos from the 1969-1970 school year (its first year as Thurmont Middle School), graduation announcements, newspaper clippings about the building, and the student ledger with who attended Thurmont School in the building in early decades of the 20th century. The student ledger is essentially the school record of each student, showing their personal information, classes taken, and grades.

Newman also found three battered loving cups that had been awarded to students for various achievements.

Parts of the current Thurmont Middle School building were constructed in 1915 when the building served 11 grades. The gym and cafeteria were added in 1949 along Summit Avenue. The building has since undergone renovations and rebuilds and has served the community at the middle school since Catoctin High School opened in 1969.

Newman showed the items to Principal Janine Smith. She realized what they were and realized these pieces of local history belonged with the Thurmont Historical Society.

Newman and Smith presented the items to Ronald Pearcey, Thurmont Historical Society treasurer, last month at the school.

The items are available for research and viewing at the Thurmont Historical Society.

Thurmont Middle School Principal Janine Smith, Administrative Secretary Christine Newman, and Thurmont Historical Society Treasurer Ronald Pearcey look over the historical documents that were recently found at the school.

The Catoctin High School Safe and Sane Committee is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Dance on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at the American Legion in Thurmont, with music by the band, Vinyl Fever. Tickets are $15.00 a person.

Catoctin High School Safe and Sane provides a safe and alcohol/drug-free event for the graduating class. It is a time for graduates to celebrate their successes, say their good-byes, and pass on their well wishes to their fellow classmates—all in a fun, safe environment.

Catoctin High School Committee for a Safe and Sane Graduating, Inc. is sponsored by the parents and community within the Catoctin area.

For more information, please find them on Facebook: Catoctin Safe and Sane.

Department Champion & Reserve Champion Winners

Winners of the 66th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, held September 9-11, 2022, at Catoctin High School in Thurmont, are listed below. At the Community Show, there were 125 new exhibitors! Premium checks and Department Champion gift certificates will be mailed to the winners by November 15, 2022. Many thanks to all judges, coordinators, performers, and volunteers who led, organized, or contributed to the event. The 2023 Community Show will be held on September 8, 9 and 10, 2023.

Department Champion and Reserve Champion Winners

Fresh Fruits: Champion – Kylie Robertson (Peaches); Reserve Champion – Kylie Robertson (Cortland Apples).

Fresh Vegetables: Champion – Edward Hahn (Red Tomatoes); Reserve Champion – Molly Harbaugh (Watermelon).

Home Products Display: Champion – Roxanna Lambert; Reserve Champion – Angie Matthews.

Canned Fruit: Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Peaches); Reserve Champion – Donald Stanley (Cantaloupe Juice).

Canned Vegetables: Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Whole Green Beans); Reserve Champion – E. Canfield-Mott (Tomato Salsa).

Jellies & Preserves: Champion – Jane Redding (Pink Peony Jelly); Reserve Champion – Hannah Barth (Cherry Preserves).

Pickles: Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Sweet Dill Pickles); Reserve Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Sweet Pickles).

Meat (Canned): Champion – Joan Little (Mince Meat); Reserve Champion – Donald Stanley (Canned Fish).

Home Cured Meats: Champion – Robert McAfee (Country Ham); Reserve Champion – Dale Hurley (Country Ham).

Cake: Champion – Cheryl Lenhart (Banana Cake); Reserve Champion – Maxine Troxell (Italian Cream Cake); Honorable Mention Cake – Burall Brothers Scholarship – Stephanie Ott (Chocolate Cake).

Pie: Champion – Ann Welty (French Apple Pie); Reserve Champion – Angie Matthews (Oats and Honey Pie).

Bread: Champion – Maxine Troxell (Onion Bread); Reserve Champion – Melissa Kinna (Zucchini Blueberry Bread).

Diabetic/Sugar Free: Champion – Joyce Kline (Sugar Free Cake); Reserve Champion – Shirley Greene (Diabetic Banana Bread).

Gluten Free Baked Product: Champion – Robin Rippeon (Pumpkin Cookies); Reserve Champion – Beth Shriner (Eggless Pecan Pie).

Sewing, Crocheting, Needlework, Embroiderty & Knitting: Champion – Tess Hahn (Cross-Stitch Picture); Reserve Champion – Robin Rippeon (Hand Sewn Applique Quilt).

Flowers & Plants: Champion – Chori Hah Monroe – (Flowering Potted Desert Rose); Reserve Champion – Roxanna Lambert (Holiday Arrangement-Halloween).

Arts, Painting & Drawings: Champion – Charlotte Dutton (Painting); Reserve Champion – Bill Stottlemyer (Wood Craft).

Crafts: Champion – Pennie Keilholtz (Noah’s Ark); Reserve Champion – Rachel Mohler (Oil Painting).

Color Photography: Champion – Debbie Wiles (Animal/Bird Photo); Reserve Champion – Joyce May (Misc. Photo).

Black & White Photography: Champion – Danielle Jackson (Photo of Children under age 18 class); Reserve Champion – Joyce Kline (Farm Scene class).

Corn: Champion – Matthew Clark (Hybrid Corn); Reserve Champion – Mary Ellen Clark (Hybrid Corn).

Small Grain & Seeds: Champion – Mary Ellen Clark (Soybeans); Reserve Champion – Matthew Clark (Shelled Corn).

Eggs: Champion – Ashley Atkins (Brown Eggs); Reserve Champion – Jack Morris (Brown Eggs).

Nuts: Champion – Joan Staub (English Walnuts); Reserve Champion – Kevin Long (Black Walnuts).

Rabbit: Champion – Bailey Wolf (Breeding Female); Reserve Champion – Laura Dutton (Dwarf Rabbit).

Poultry: Champion – Laura Dutton (Pair of Geese); Reserve Champion – Eli Yocum (Turkey).

Dairy Cattle: Champion – Cadin Valentine (Ayrshire Fall Calf); Reserve Champion – James Bassler (Brown Swiss Fall Calf).

Dairy Goats: Champion – Laura Dutton (Senior Kid); Reserve Champion – Laura Dutton (Dry Yearling).

Hay: Champion – Matthew Clark (Alfalfa Hay); Reserve Champion – Matthew Clark (Orchard Grass Hay).

 Straw: Champion – Abbey Myers (Barley Straw); Reserve Champion – Abbey Myers (Wheat Straw).

Junior Department (Ages 10 & Under): Champion – Kinsley Main (Christmas Craft); Reserve Champion – Fiona Ligsay (Fresh Flowers).

Junior Department Baked Product (Ages 10 & Under): Champion – Lexie Cox (Chocolate Cake); Reserve Champion – Adalyn Eaves (Pound Cake).

Youth Department (Ages 11-18): Champion – Abigail May (Painting); Reserve Champion – Jacob Hemler (Wood Craft).

Youth Department Baked Product (Ages 11-18): Champion – Grace Eaves (Chocolate Cake); Reserve Champion – Sarah Eaves (Coconut Cake).

Youth Department Champion Cake – In Honor & Memory of Mearl McCleaf, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant: Masyn Sanders (Pumpkin Cake with Buttercream Icing).

Beef: Grand Champion – Cadin Valentine; Reserve Champion – Madison Ohler.

Sheep: Grand Champion – Caroline Clark; Reserve Champion – Peyton Davis; Ridenour Lamb – Elizabeth Schubel.

Swine: Grand Champion – Peighton Rhinehart: Reserve Champion – Kourtney Bell.

Market Goat: Grand Champion – Alyssa Costa; Reserve Champion – Cheyenne VanEcho.

Contest Winners

Decorated Animal: Preston Clark (Sheep).

Log Sawing Contest Winners: Men’s Team: 1st – Gavin Valentine & Brayden Whetzel (2:21); 2nd – Josh Offutt & Jason Green (2:25); 3rd – Justus Yocum & David Ohler (2:58). Women’s Team: 1st – Caroline Clark & Annalise Abruzzese (3:06); 2nd – Payton Troxell & Abby Moreland (6:55). Men & Women’s Team: 1st – Kolton Whetzel & Annalise Abruzzese (2:47); 2nd – Shelby Green & Robert Hahn (4:33); 3rd – Robert Hahn & Stephanie Moreland (5:26); 4th – Colby Keilholtz & Kelly Glass (9:33). Children’s Team: 1st – Preston Clark & Trennon Latham (5:57); 2nd – Braelynn Keilholtz & Jordyn Ohler (9:59); 3rd – Landon Hahn & Eli Yocum (10:52). Additional Children’s Teams participating were Hayden Hahn & Chloe Keilholtz (15:24); Alaina Quill & Adalyn Eaves (20:56); Colt Ridge & Garrett Troxell (10:19); and Wade Wolf & Bryce Yocum (incomplete).

The 2022 Horseshoe Pitching contest was not held due to the inclement weather.

Pet Show Winners: Grand Champion was Michelle Sanville (1st place for both Best Trained Pet and Prettiest Dog – 26 lb. & over) and Reserve Champion was Savanna Cregger (1st place for Pet with the Most Spots). Cat with Prettiest Eyes: 1st – Ashley Coffman; 2nd – Joshua Crouse; 3rd – Kara Wolf. Cat with Longest Whiskers: 1st – Kara Wolf; 2nd – Ashley Coffman; 3rd – Joshua Crouse. Cutest Cat: 1st – Joshua Crouse; 2nd – Ashley Coffman; 3rd – Kara Wolf. Best Trained Pet: 1st – Michelle Sanville; 2nd – Deveen Armstrong; 3rd – Abby Owens; Honorable Mention – Ashley Coffman; Rhonda Sanders. Dog with the Waggiest Tail:  lst – Deveen Armstrong; 2nd – Adrianna Bussey; 3rd – Morgan Kolb; Honorable Mention – Rhonda Sanders. Prettiest Dog (25 lbs. & under): 1st – Judy Smith; 2nd – Deveen Armstrong; 3rd – Adrianna Bussey; Honorable Mention – Morgan Kolb; Gerardo Ligsay. Prettiest Dog (26 lbs. & over): 1st – Michelle Sanville; 2nd – LuAnne Ewing; 3rd – Abby Owens; Honorable Mention – Jeannie Brown. Best Costumed Pet: 1st – Jeannie Brown; 2nd – Savanna Cregger; 3rd – Gerardo Ligsay; Honorable Mention – Judy Smith, Morgan Kolk, Deveen Armstrong, Lisa Valentine, Ashley Coffman, Carley Hahn, LuAnne Ewing, Abby Owens. Pet with the Most Spots: 1st – Savanna Cregger; 2nd – Abby Owens; 3rd – Morgan Kolb; HM – Ashley Coffman, Honorable Mention – Gerardo Ligsay. Largest Pet (by height): 1st – Jeannie Brown. Most Unusual Pet: lst – Jeannie Brown. Smallest Pet: 1st – Deveen Armstrong; 2nd – Judy Smith; 3rd – Kristi Woods; Honorable Mention – Rhonda Sanders. 

Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull Contest: Class for Ages 5 & 6 winners were 1st – Nathan Shriner (full pull); 2nd – Trace Rhinehart (23’ 6”); 3rd – Ella Eaves (23” 3”). Additional participants were Bailey Wolf & Jason Green. Class for Ages 7 & 8 winners were 1st – Adalyn Eaves (33’ 2”); 2nd – Wade Wolf (28” 6”); 3rd – Dylan Ridinger (27’ 9”). Additional participants were Aiden Koontz, Garrett Troxell and Bryce Yocum. Class for Ages 9 & 10 winners were 1st – Colt Ridge (29’ 1”); 2nd – Cyrus Steelmen.

Cheryl Lenhart, Grand Champion Cake baker displaying her Banana Cake, with buyer Kirby Delauter of W. F. Delauter & Son.

Carol Minnick (left), representing Gateway Farm Market, purchased the Reserve Champion Bread, a Zucchini Blueberry Bread baked by Melissa Kinna.

Caroline Clark (right), with her Grand Champion Sheep, purchased by Carolyn & Eric Baker of Baker Tree Services in Thurmont, and 2022-2023 Catoctin FFA Ambassador Abby Moreland (left).

Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull winners in the Class for Ages 7-8 were (from left): 1st—Adalyn Eaves; 2nd—Wade Wolf; 3rd—Dylan Ridinger.

Community Show Opening Ceremonies participants: David Harman – Master of Ceremonies; Barry Burch – Catoctin FFA Advisor; Jennifer Clements – Catoctin High School Principal, who announced the new FFA Ambassador; 2022-2023 Catoctin FFA Ambassador Abby Moreland, daughter of Chris and Desiree Moreland; Amy Poffenberger – Catoctin FFA Advisor; and Daniel Myers – Community Show Committee Member.

Log Sawing Women’s Division winners (from left): 2nd – Payton Troxell & Abby Moreland, and 1st – Annalise Abruzzese & Caroline Clark.

Vigilant Hose Company’s Tim Clarke (left) purchased the Grand Champion Swine that was shown by Prighton Rhinehart.

The Crafts Department Champion was a beautifully carved wooden “Noah’s Ark,” made by Pennie Keilholtz.

Department Champion of Sewing, Crocheting, Needlework, Embroiderty & Knitting Dept. was Tess Hahn’s Cross-Stitch Picture.

Reserve Champion was Savanna Cregger (1st place for Pet with the Most Spots).

Junior Department (Ages 10 & Under) Reserve Champion Cake baker Adalyn Eaves, holding her Pumpkin Spice with Maple Glaze Pound Cake, is pictured with Wolfe Auctions, Inc. buyers Emily and Josh Ruby.

This Hereford Sow and its 10 Piglets were five weeks old at the Community Show and were courtesy of Danny Wetzel of Rocky Ridge.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 686, Bovine Intervention, a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) high school level robotics program at Catoctin High School in Thurmont, competed at a FIRST, off-season, 2022 West Virginia Robotics Extreme (WVRoX) competition, held at West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown, West Virginia, hosted by WVU and FRC Team 2614 MARS.

WVRoX, “the world’s first and only FIRST Robotics Competition endurance event,” is 26 hours and 14 minutes of a marathon-style robotics competition, with events occurring biennially. The 2022 event began on Friday, August 5, and concluded on Saturday, August 6. Bovine Intervention was the only WVRoX participating FRC team from Maryland and competed with 23 other FRC teams from Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Bovine Intervention finished the competition ranking 8 out of 24 teams and was promoted to the fifth playoff captain with their alliance selections to Team 117, Steel Dragons Robotics from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Team 325, Respawn Robotics from Hamilton, Ohio. Their alliance competed in the playoff quarterfinals.

Participating at WVRoX was part of Bovine Intervention’s summer-training program. This training benefited new rising first-year students to Catoctin High School who joined the team in June and were unfamiliar with FIRST and FRC. Existing student team members increased their skills and competition game strategies. Students also collaborated with other teams from various parts of the United States, whom they usually don’t meet during the FIRST Chesapeake District in-season competitions. To accomplish the entire duration of the marathon-style competition, students took breaks periodically at the team’s designated resting area at the event. Overall, the WVRoX unique experience inspired students, provided opportunities to operate the team’s robot, and generated much fun.

Bovine Intervention comprises various Frederick County Public School (FCPS) high school students. Students on the team are inspired and learn valuable STEM skills related to computer programming, CAD, and engineering principles for designing and building a competition robot. The team is growing and will continue their training during the fall, with outreach and another off-season event in October. All of this is in preparation for the January 2023 FIRST FRC season kickoff event. Their robot workspace and testing lab are currently held at a commercial building in Thurmont.

To learn more about Bovine Intervention and FIRST, for information and links to Facebook and Instagram sites, or if you would like to join the team, please visit the team website at www.bovineintervention.org.

An above-ground view of the robot competition field (showing six robots/teams per match in two groups or alliances of red and blue).

Team 686 Bovine Intervention (high school students and mentors).

This year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded 100 high school seniors with their prestigious college scholarship. These scholarship recipients will receive up to $55,000 toward the cost of their undergraduate education at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

Along with the financial support, the recipients are provided with ongoing academic and career advising and networking opportunities. Applicants this year were from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

The Cooke College Scholarship Program aims to assist high-achieving students with financial need to obtain a college degree.

Only one student from Frederick County and only six in all of Maryland were awarded this scholarship. The scholarship winner of this prestigious award from Frederick County is Nicholas “Nick” Miller (pictured above).

Nick is a resident of Thurmont. He graduated from Catoctin High with his classmates on May 25. In the fall, Nick will be attending Hamilton College, located in upstate New York, to study microbiology. Nick has been an exceptional student during high school and is planning to be a scientific researcher, hoping to make an impact on the field of medical research in the future. A full list of all the scholarship winners can be found on the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website at www.jkcf.org.

The Emmitsburg High School Alumni Association (EHSAA) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual EHSAA scholarship program. Four $1,000 scholarships were awarded this year. The scholarship applicants were judged on involvement in school and community activities, as well as their academic work. Honors and work experience were also considered.

The first three scholarship recipients were seniors at Catoctin High School (CHS). Rianna Chaney, daughter of Lee and Becky Chaney, is planning to attend Oklahoma State University in the fall. Sheridan Chaney, daughter of Lee and Becky Chaney, is planning to attend Butler Community College.  Wyatt Davis, son of James and Peggy Davis, is planning to attend Shippensburg University. 

The final recipient was a former graduate of Catoctin High School.  Attending West Virginia University, with the idea of becoming a Neurosurgeon, is Max Bingman, son of William and Jennifer Bingman.

All recipients will be recognized at the Emmitsburg High School Alumni Association’s 98th Annual Banquet to be held October 15, 2022. They are all wished much success.

Pictured are Sheridan Chaney, Wyatt Davis, Rianna Chaney, and Vickie Frushour.

Evan & Stephanie Felmet, CHS Music/Drama Directors

Over the weekend of April 8 and 9, 2022, Catoctin High School’s (CHS) drama program put on three shows of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s, State Fair. The three shows were attended by over 600 people from across the Catoctin community and beyond.

Part of the draw was the involvement of more than 40 cast and crew members in the show. There were also live animals, provided by FFA students, that were carried across the stage during the musical number “Our State Fair.”

Students performed in front of a beautiful six-piece background, depicting the fair that had been painstakingly painted over many months by art teacher, Laura Day, and her students.

Before each show, the drama students partnered with students in Catoctin’s thriving FFA program to put on a carnival in and around the school’s cafeteria.

In the weeks leading up to the show, students from the Catoctin feeder elementary schools had received flyers in their take-home folders, letting them know about the event, and families turned up in droves during each carnival. Ring toss, petting zoo, dime toss, bingo, pony rides, face painting, and a fortune telling booth were only a few of the exciting attractions offered to visiting families. One particularly popular spot was the flush tank, where CHS staff members were soaked with ice-cold water if their students could hit the target. Some of those staff included Principal Clements, Assistant Principal Lininger, Drama Director Evan Felmet, and English Teacher Olivia Aungst. Many high school students spent their tickets ensuring their favorite staff members were drenched multiple times, leaving them shivering but smiling.

Overall, the venture was a great success for both the drama program and the FFA, raising much-needed funds for next year’s endeavors.

Photos by Mike Miller

(above) The cast welcomes the audience with the song, “Our State Fair.”

(above) The hard working crew members of State Fair.

(above The directors pose during the carnival with CHS alumni (and former thespians) Addi Eyler, Sophia DeGennaro, and Joe Hawkins.

(Above) Justin Clair jumps clear over Amelia Phillips as the cast performs “All I Owe Ioway.”

(above) Drama Director Evan Felmet gets soaked in the flush tank.

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show committee met recently to begin planning the 66th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show. The show will be held at Catoctin High School, 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, on September 9-11. Officers elected at the meeting were: President—Rodman Myers, Vice President—Cheryl Lenhart, Secretary—Karen Myers. Committee members, representing the sponsoring organizations of the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, and the Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters are: Bob Valentine, Sue Keilholtz, Robert Wiles, David Harman, Niki Eyler, Ray Martin, Carol Long, Cathy Little, Chip Long, Bobby Myers, Denise Valentine, Amanda Dennis, Helen Troxell, Nancy Wine, Patty Johnston, Jim Barth, Kay Barth, Andrea Mannix, Amy Jo Poffenberger, Barry Burch, Daniel Myers, Dallas Hassel, Danny Whetzel, Eric Troxell, Jennifer Martin, Kolton Whetzel, Matthew Dellinger, and Tyler Wolf.  

Entry of exhibits will take place in the new gymnasium and agriculture department area on Thursday evening, September 8, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (note the new start and end time), and on Friday, September 9, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Commercial exhibits may be set up on Friday, September 9, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show opens to the public at 6:00 p.m.  

This year, the Friday night Opening Ceremonies Program will begin at 6:30 p.m. (note the new start time for program), with the community organizations flag ceremony, followed by the 2022-2023 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador announcement. The annual Baked Goods Auction will begin immediately following the program at approximately 7:30 p.m. The Grand Champion and Reserve Champion cakes, pies and breads will be sold at 8:00 p.m. 

On Saturday, September 10, the show is open from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.   Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep & Swine Fitting and Showing Contest, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in the agriculture center area. The Pet Show will be held at 10:30 a.m. outside at the front of the school, and prize money will be mailed to the winners by November 15, 2022. 

Entertainment events on Saturday, September 10, at both 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the auxiliary gym, will include a martial arts demonstration by the Thurmont Academy of Self Defense; at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium, the Linda Elower Studio of Dance will have a performance; and at 6:00 p.m., Richard Troxell, Thurmont native and tenor soloist, will have a musical performance in the auditorium. All entertainment and events throughout the weekend are free.

The 48th Annual Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters Market Goat, Beef, Sheep & Swine Sale will be held on Saturday night, September 10, at 7:00 p.m. in the agriculture center area. All buyers are welcome to attend and purchase animals at the sale, which are exhibited by 4-H and FFA members.  

On both Saturday and Sunday, the petting zoo will be held in the agriculture area, and there will also be face painting and pony rides.

On Sunday, September 11, activities begin in the agriculture center area at 9:00 a.m. with the Dairy Goat Show, followed by the Dairy Cattle Show.   The Decorated Animal Contest will begin at 11:00 a.m., with prize money to be awarded to participants.

The 37th Annual Log Sawing Contest will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the agriculture center area, with categories consisting of two-person women’s team, men’s team, men and women’s team, and a children’s division.  

A Pedal Tractor Contest (for children ages 5-10) will be held at 12:00 p.m. in the agriculture center area tent. At 1:00 p.m. will be the 41st Annual Robert Kaas Horseshoe Pitching Contest near the softball field.

Additional activities throughout the weekend include food trucks and food stands, the Thurmont Regional Public Library’s annual book sale, Quilt & Afghan Show, and Thurmont area historical photos by John Kinnaird.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 11, from 3:00-5:30 p.m. (note the new deadline to pick up items). Winning exhibitor’s prize money will be mailed by November 15, 2022. 

If you would like to be a new advertiser in the Community Show’s booklet, please contact Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104 to obtain advertising information. Past advertisers should have recently received letters for this year’s advertisements, with a May 17, 2022 deadline. By early August, the Community Show booklets will be available in local Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and surrounding area businesses. New and all residents of our community are urged to enter exhibits (no entry fee) and be a part of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, the largest community show in the State of Maryland. Departments include: Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Home Products Display, Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables, Jellies & Preserves, Pickles, Meats, Baked Products, Sewing & Needlework, Flowers and Plants, Arts, Paintings & Drawings, Crafts, Photography, Corn, Small Grains and Seeds, Eggs, Nuts, Poultry & Livestock, Dairy, Goats, Hay, Junior Department, and Youth Department.  Please visit their website for updated information at www.thurmontemmitsburgcommunityshow.webs.com.

The Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters, the Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.

The Thurmont High School Alumni Association will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, June 11, at the Thurmont Event Complex, located at 13716 Stratford Drive in Thurmont. Frederick County COVID-19 rules will be followed. This year, we will recognize all basketball players (male and female) to stand at some point in the program. Social hour will begin at 4:00 p.m., with the meal served promptly at 5:00 p.m.

This year, the anniversary classes are those that end in 2 and 7. Several basket raffles and a 50/25/25 raffle will take place. Special scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors, related to Thurmont High School alumni. The cost for the evening is $23.00 per person, which should be mailed to Viola Noffsinger, 131 Cody Drive #33, Thurmont, MD 21788 (before May 25). All alumnus of Thurmont High School and Catoctin High School classes (1969-1974) and friends are encouraged to attend. Visit the alumni Facebook page: Thurmont High School Alumni Association. 

The 66th annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 9-11, 2022, at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont.  

 Entry of exhibits is on the evening of Thursday, September 8, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and on the morning of Friday, September 9, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.   

On Friday evening, September 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium, the Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador Program, Community Organizations Flag Ceremony, and Baked Goods Auction will be held.   

The Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters’ Market Goat, Beef, Sheep & Swine Show will be held in the school’s Agriculture Area on Saturday, September 10, starting at 9:00 a.m. On Saturday evening in the Agriculture Area, the Market Goat, Beef, Sheep & Swine Sale will begin at 6:30 p.m. for the awards ceremony; the sale will begin at 6:45 p.m. Buyers are welcome!

Further information regarding activities and times will be forthcoming, once finalized. Some activities planned include pony rides, log sawing, pedal tractor pull, petting zoo, pet show, decorated animal contest, and horseshoe pitching contests.

Letters regarding advertisements to area businesses will be mailed out shortly for inclusion in the 2022 Community Show book. If you are a new business or would like to advertise this year and have not received a letter, please contact Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104 for further information. 

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters, Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board.

In the spring of 2019, an idea sparked in the head of Stephanie Felmet, one of Catoctin High School’s theater directors. She immediately sought out Amy Poffenberger, the Catoctin FFA advisor, about a collaborative effort between the drama department and the FFA. Unfortunately for all involved, two short weeks before the culmination of the efforts were to debut, COVID-19 hit and all was canceled.

Now, years later, they’re trying again. The drama department will perform State Fair, a Rogers and Hammerstein musical, while the FFA will host a carnival preceding the show.

State Fair is about an Iowan farming family, the Frakes, who travel to the 1946 Iowa State Fair to have the father’s hog and the mother’s pickles and mincemeat judged. The journey the two Frake children take is one of self-discovery and growing up. They both have safe lives planned for them at home, but chance encounters at the fair make them question what they really want to achieve and accomplish. Can they be happy back on the farm, or are they yearning for something more?

State Fair, which features seniors Skyler Payne, Caleigh Sare, Raphaela Smaldone, and Justin Clair, and juniors Emily Burrier and Richie Coursey, was chosen as the show for a number of reasons. First, the rural setting was a wonderful match for the Thurmont area, with so many residents involved in and dedicated to agricultural pursuits. Second, it allowed for a perfect collaboration with the Catoctin FFA since any state or county fair would involve the work of students like Catoctin’s own. Lastly, director Evan Felmet starred in this show his senior year of high school, and it holds a special place in his heart.

Each showing of the spring musical, State Fair, will be preceded by a fun family carnival, with a petting zoo, flush tank, games, a bake sale, and more! Several FFA students will also be providing animals to participate in the musical itself. The carnival functions as a fundraiser for the drama department and the FFA, providing opportunities for both organizations to gain funding for their various endeavors.

Come see State Fair and the carnival on April 8-9 at Catoctin High School. The first opportunity will be April 8, with the carnival from 5:00-6:30 p.m., followed by the show at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 9, will have its first carnival from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with a 1:00 p.m. show to follow; and the second carnival will run from 5:00-6:30 p.m., with the last show at 7:00 p.m. As they say in the show, “Don’t miss it! Don’t even be late!”

View the advertisement on page 46.

The Emmitsburg High School Association is accepting scholarship applications. Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in May to deserving students. Any Catoctin High School senior or graduate who is enrolled in an institution of higher learning is eligible if he/she resides in the Emmitsburg School District. This includes Emmitsburg 21727, Rocky Ridge 21778, and Taneytown 21787 (Taneytown boundary is determined by Bridgeport on Rt. 140). Applicants may apply each year as long as they are enrolled in an institution of higher learning.

Selection is based on having a 3.0 or higher GPA, being a full-time student, presenting two letters of recommendation, and pursuing higher education (four-year college or community college). No GPA is required for full-time trade school.

Applications may be obtained by contacting the Guidance Department at Catoctin High School (Mike Marquez at 240-236-8082). All applications must be received by May 1, 2022.

Attention graduating seniors! Are you related to a graduate from Thurmont High School or Catoctin High School up through the class of 1974? Are you looking for a scholarship?

Check the Community Foundation of Frederick County website at www.cffredco.org for the scholarships offered by the Thurmont High School Alumni Association. Applications are being accepted from March 1 through March 31, 2022, only.

Seniors, remind your parents, grandparents, and their friends that the Thurmont High School Alumni banquet will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the Thurmont Event Complex. Any questions, call 301-418-1760 or email vmnoff@gmail.com.

Jayden Myers

When I entered high school, I never expected to be a part of Unified Sports. As a matter of fact, I never even knew it was a thing.

I became acquainted with Unified Sports through my teacher, Ms. Kelle. One day, I walked into the library for my lunch shift where the Unified Sports Club was meeting. At the time, I didn’t know what they were meeting for. Ms. Kelle stopped me and asked, “Hey, Jayden, do you want to join our club?”

Not knowing what I was about to join, I agreed. I’m truthfully glad I did.

For background, Unified Sports was created to promote meaningful inclusion by bringing people, with and without intellectual disabilities, together. It is based on the belief that this cannot happen without youth leaders. This club is part of many schools around the country.

For those of you who don’t know, bocce, also known as bocce ball and bocci, is an Italian lawn-bowling game. You start with a pallina (a small ball), which is thrown first. Then, the teams roll out four larger bocce balls. The teams earn points based on whose bocce ball is closer to the pallina. The points also depend on if the bocce balls are in a certain range; thus, while in a game, you’ll notice they measure to see how far a bocce is from the pallina. 

I joined Unified Sports and ended up loving it. I played alongside Logan Dukich, MaKenzie Lewis, Carli Mazaleski, Dominic McKenny, Lucas Phelan, Siddah Robbins, Oliver Vasquez, and Jonny Wastler. Plus, our wonderful coaches, Ms. Kelle Brumley and Mrs. Charmane Nesbitt.

Without Ms. Kelle and Mrs. Nesbitt, none of this would have been possible. They create a great environment for the students and make sure that everything is taken care of. I’m glad to call them my coaches.

With Unified Sports joining part of the regular sports program, hopefully kids, now and in the future, will have an avenue to socialize and be a part of a fun and competitive environment, without some of the physical strains of traditional sports.

This team has become more like a family over the last few months, and this adventure has been a phenomenal one to embark on.

Team members: (from left) Carli Mazaleski, Kenzie Lewis, Siddah Robbins, Logan Dukich, Jayden Myers, Dominic McKenney, and Oliver Vasquez. Not present for photo: Lucas Phelan and Jonny Wastler.

Courtesy Photo

James Rada, Jr.

Catoctin High School (CHS) recognized its graduates who have gone on to find success post-high school during its 6th Annual Distinguished Graduates Induction Ceremony in November 2021.

Principal Jennifer Clements told the audience, “Catoctin High School is a place of deep roots and strong traditions. Our history is so rich because of the incredible staff and students who have walked these halls, making a positive impact on our school and our community.”

It is that tradition and those people that the school celebrates with its Distinguished Graduate Program. The Catoctin High School Distinguished Graduate Organization was formed in 2015 to honor alumni in the areas of academics, arts and humanities, athletics, business, and public service.

The 2021 program recognized alumni from the arts and humanities, academics, and public service sectors. It also recognized two former CHS staff members.

Former teacher, John Koepke, taught, coached, and advised students at CHS for 35 years. During the program, he passed on some advice from his father to the students in attendance. “Life is full of cool moments. Enjoy the cool moments.”

He also shared some advice from Dr. Jack Graham, a Texas pastor, and it was to PACE yourself through life. However, Koepke added his own words for the acronym.

Patience helps peace.

Acceptance helps attitude.

Confidence helps commitment.

Embrace encouragement.

Rebecca Chaney, Class of 1982, was the arts and entertainment inductee. She is an author, speaker, and livestock and dairy judging coach. Her twin daughters, Sheridan and Rianna Chaney, who are seniors at CHS introduced their mother.

“You need to remember to dream big,” Cheney told the students. “Never waver from your dream and goals. With hard work and determination, you can achieve incredible things in this life.”

Brian Haines, Class of 2000, was the academics inductee. He is currently an assistant principal scientist at Merck, working in regulatory affairs.

He told the students not to give up on their goals. However, you need to work to make them happen. “Dig in just a little harder and not give up after setting a goal,” Haines said.

Maria Smaldone, Class of 2010, was the public service inductee. Her professional career has been spent in social work, and she is currently the senior neighborhood resource coordinator at Neighborhood Housing Services in Baltimore. Her sister, Raphaela Smaldone, a CHS senior, introduced her.

She said, “My normal is probably not your normal…considering someone’s context (their normal) is critical to understanding their thoughts, their feelings, and their motivations.” She added that this understanding will help bridge “trust gaps” between people of different backgrounds. She urged the students to get to know someone with a different normal and listen to them and learn from them.

She also told students not to, “pigeonhole yourself too soon into what you think you’re good at or what you think is good for you. There are so many other things out there, and you are capable of so many other things than you can give yourself credit for.”

Curtis Howser, a former industrial arts teacher and school counselor for 44 years, was another former CHS staff inductee. He served as a counselor at CHS for 18 years.

He said. “Be part of the solution rather than someone who just talks about it.”

Pictured from left are: (standing) Curtis Howser, John Koepke, and Bryan Haines; (seated) Maria Smaldone and Rebecca Chaney.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Blair Garrett

After nearly two years without a consistent schedule, high school sports are officially back on track.

Catoctin High School athletes have had to navigate abridged seasons and restrictions, cutting down opportunities for student athletes to compete since the spring season of 2020. Some students have missed out on half of their high school athletic seasons due to the ongoing pandemic. And, with cold and flu season in full swing, the future remains uncertain.

For now, though, students finally have a consistent schedule to compete with other athletes around the region.

Regular seasons for popular winter sports like basketball, wrestling, and swimming have had fans itching to get back to normal. Even the playoff format once again follows the standard format from non-COVID years. 

“As of right now, everything is normal with regards to playoffs, Athletic Director Keith Bruck said. “It’s the same structure we’ve had pre-COVID with the region format and championship schedule, so hopefully that continues.”

Though students and fans have reason to be excited for winter sports, there are still regulations and precautions to be followed for everyone in attendance.

“This year for the fans, coaches, and everyone inside the gymnasium, they have to wear a mask,” Bruck said. “While the players are actively engaged in the sport, they don’t have to wear a mask.”

This is a big development from last season, where players for indoor sports like basketball were required to play masked throughout the duration of the game.

“When a kid is on the court for basketball, they don’t have to wear a mask, but when they come off the court, they’re expected to put a mask on,” Bruck said.

No matter how small the progress is to working toward normalcy, the goal is to keep taking the proper precautions seriously to allow students to continue pursuing athletics. Even if some of the rules are uncomfortable at times, it beats missing out on another season of high school sports.

The local support has been great through the first few weeks of winter sports, with fans making their voices heard from the stands. “Attendance has been about the same as it was in previous years,” Bruck said. “Folks are anxious to get back and see their favorite teams.”

With fans and players only getting to experience a glimpse of a normal season in 2020, this season’s athletes are excited for a chance to do it right. “We had a really short winter season last year, so I think folks want to get back to watching high school sports,” Bruck said.

Fans will have plenty of opportunities to catch Catoctin sports over the winter break, with wrestling and basketball tournaments highlighting the end of December. Both tournaments will allow students to showcase the hard work they have been putting in all year to prepare for their time to shine.

With the turning of the page into the new year, Track and Field and Swimming meets become a big deal for hundreds of athletes in the region. These events typically bring multiple schools together, so the continuation of group competitions is a hugely positive sign for the state of high school sports.

A particularly close-contact sport like wrestling having the green light to carry on is also encouraging. Prevention of COVID transmission between wrestlers seems almost impossible, but, fortunately, programs have had good luck this season avoiding any delays and shutdowns due to outbreaks.   

“We haven’t had to pause with any of our teams so far,” Bruck said. “We’ve had individual cases here and there, but we haven’t had to stop our teams from practicing or playing.”

It’s no secret that everyone wants the COVID nightmare behind us, and the athletes finally have something concrete to focus on as they push through their regular seasons toward playoffs. The opportunity to compete for a state title is something these athletes won’t take for granted.

You can catch Catoctin sports from the jump in 2022, with all games, meets, and matches listed on the Catoctin High School athletic calendar at www.fcps.org.

Deb Abraham Spalding

It was a beautiful day for the grand opening celebration of the new Thurmont Skatepark at the East End Park on East Main Street in Thurmont on Saturday, November 6, 2021. The day started off with the group of project-founding skaters gathering at the skatepark for a sunrise skate session. Their project had become a reality!

They skated for about an hour and a half, then other volunteers joined them to plant 30 trees around the skatepark. Soon, event attendees started filling up the space.

From sunup to sundown, the celebration continued as a solid slate of skaters on skateboards, on scooters, or wearing in-line skates, rolled around the smooth concrete contours of the facility. Paul Zelenka served as the event’s DJ mixing up 5 hours of fun tunes.

This project was initiated by local young residents who were looking for a safe place to skateboard. Sgt. Dave Armstrong, of the Thurmont Police Department, started having conversations with the kids instead of just telling them to stop skating when he saw them around town. He realized they needed a safe place to skate. He went with them to a Parks and Rec Committee meeting and gained roots-level support for a skatepark.

A group of 15 Catoctin High School sophomores attended an April 12, 2021 Town of Thurmont meeting with Patrick Dugan as their leader and presented their case, convincing the town to build a skatepark. Four main skaters spearheaded the project including Dugan, Maceo Zelenka, Alan Chimel, and Norman Montoya, by petitioning for support.

The teens didn’t attend that meeting unprepared. They had done research. They visited other towns with skateparks, and met with other organizers and planners who have designed and built skateparks. A visit with Brent at Embark Skate Shop for advice on building a skatepark led the teens to Joe Wallace who had done fundraising for Urbana Skate Park. He shared the name Matt Arment who built the Urbana Park. Within one day of contacting Arment, he had a skatepark design and a proposal drawn up. That project plan was presented to the town. Everything moved along well.

The mayor and commissioners gave the teens lots of positive feedback, as well as advice on how to help their project move along as quickly as possible. The Thurmont Board applied for, and received, a grant from Program Open Space, a program from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that provides counties with funds for public space projects.

Embark donated a skateboard for a raffle to raise funds. The teens had formed a committee and they were present at Thurmont’s Farmers Markets selling raffle tickets and t-shirts. This was a great way for the committee to tell people about the park.

The committee met every week. Josh Boyle, an active inline skater, joined the committee and contributed a wonderful point of view. Sgt. Armstrong stayed active with the committee and remained a great advocate.

Maceo Zelenka’s mother Stacie Zelenka and Patrick Dugan’s mother Kirsten Dugan became parent volunteers who helped lead the boys through the logistics of fundraising.

Commissioner Wayne Hooper, served as the liaison between the board and the committee. Matt Arment of Arment Concrete out of Dover, PA, was really close to the kids. He designed and built the park. Sponsorship was incredible! The teens wrote a letter and asked the community and businesses for support.

Stacie Zelenka said, “We said the first five $500 donations would have a banner at the park. Within 24 hours we had all five of them. Ninety percent of the people really supported the project because it was driven by teens. They can make a change!”

At the grand opening celebration, Embark Skate Shop hosted the best trick contest. People got to see pro skaters. Delegate Jesse Pippy did a kick flip to start off the best trick contest. That was cool to see, especially since he actually landed the stunt.

A proclamation was presented by Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird on behalf of the Governor of the State of Maryland to the Thurmont Skatepark Committee.

There are many individuals who deserve credit and acknowledgement for this true example of a “community” project. Harold Lawson, Thurmont’s Superintendent of Public Works and his crew are responsible for everything that makes up the skatepark’s finished look. Lori Kaas with the Town of Thurmont was the committee’s point of contact with the town office. She kept the committee organized and on track.

Jim Humerick, The Town of Thurmont’s CAO included the skateboard committee in the process every step of the way so they learned how government works. Jacob Williams designed the logo which has been a big hit on the hoodies and t-shirts. Mayor John Kinnaird was always supportive of the skatepark and Thurmont youth.

The skatepark isn’t completely finished. Eventually, there will be lights installed. Next spring, paved walking trails will be installed from the inclusive playground and from the Main Street sidewalk.

Stacie Zelenka said, “A lot of individuals donated to the project and realized that by giving kids and teens in the community a safe outdoor space for a sport just makes the community better.”

Kirsten Dugan sums it all up, “In less than seven months, this project went from a proposal by a group of teenagers into a reality.  This skatepark is a great asset to our town.  People have been out here enjoying the skatepark almost constantly since the concrete dried. To see it completed and to celebrate with the community that has given so much support is really incredible. The whole process has felt like a miracle.”

The official ribbon-cutting was held at the at the grand opening.

Ben Swauger of Waynesboro attended the Thurmont Skatepark Grand Opening on November 13, 2021.

Catoctin ninth-grader Cameron Santmier catches some air on his scooter.

During the 39-year history of the John A. Cliber Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Northwestern Frederick Country Civic Association of Sabillasville, 56 awards have been awarded to Catoctin High School graduating students from the Sabillasville Elementary-feeder school.

Two 2021 graduates have each received a $1,000 award for their continuing education. Both recipients, Rachel Pastor and Zander Sharpe, are enrolled for the fall semester at Frederick Community College, pursuing their goals of obtaining degrees in business.

Catoctin High School/Saint Joseph’s High School, Class of 1981, 40th reunion will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. Save the date; more details to follow. For more information, contact Jerry Free at 301-418-5351 or Mark Williard at 214-263-6613.

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show announces its 2021 event cancellation. During the current pandemic situation, our concern is for the health and safety of our community, volunteers, attendees, exhibitors, and vendors, and all involved with our Community Show. An additional factor is the uncertainty of Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) facilities usage, which includes Catoctin High School, by outside user groups.     

All events related to the Community Show are canceled, except for the Catoctin Area FFA Alumni & Supporters Livestock Show & Sale for market goat, beef, sheep, and swine. All activities will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at The Eyler Stables (managed by Wolfe Agricultural Auctions), located at 141 Emmitsburg Road in Thurmont. 

The livestock show will be held at 9:00 a.m., with awards presentation at 6:30 p.m. and the livestock sale beginning at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, September 12, the dairy goat and dairy cattle show will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the decorated animal contest will be held at noon. 

The log sawing contest will also be held on Sunday, September 12, at 1:00 p.m., which will have women’s, men’s and children’s divisions. 

For an application to exhibit animals—due by July 10—please email catoctinffaalumni@gmail.com. The application includes information about all the events for the weekend. 

The Community Show looks forward to seeing everyone at next year’s Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 9-11, 2022. Exhibits can include any item that has been made since the 2019 Community Show, except for baked products and any perishable items. 

“The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show has been bringing our Thurmont and Emmitsburg communities together since 1957.  Please continue to support our local agriculture and area businesses who have advertised in our past Community Show booklets. We thank these organizations who sponsor our annual Community Show: Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin Area FFA Alumni & Supporters, Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board. Next year, we look forward to bringing back the largest Community Show in the State of Maryland. Until then, everyone please stay safe and be well.” –Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show President C. Rodman Myers.

Catoctin High School/Saint Joseph’s High School, Class of 1981, 40th reunion will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. Save the date; more details to follow. For more information, contact Jerry Free at 301-418-5351 or Mark Williard at 214-263-6613.

Blair Garrett

A close community has the power to do amazing things.

Communities find a way to lift people up in times of great struggle.

Colan Droneburg, a 17-year-old football player at Catoctin High School, took a seemingly innocuous hit to the head in a scrimmage on March 5.

Droneburg ran off the field dizzy and nauseous and fell unconscious on the sideline. Teammates surrounded him, and medical professionals rushed to his side. He was eventually flown via Maryland State Police helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma.

Droneburg was temporarily placed into a medically induced coma due to his brain injuries. “He had bleeding on both sides of the brain, but more so on the right,” Wade Droneburg, Colan’s brother said. “He’s doing physical therapy for his balance, neck, and strength.”

Droneburg has had to see neurologists for headaches, trouble with his vision, and amnesia, but with time and continued therapy, the family is optimistic that his condition will improve.    

Colan’s cousin, Diane Bowers, set up a GoFundMe page for Colan’s recovery and upcoming medical expenses, with a $15,000 goal. The community smashed that goal in record time, donating $5,000 in the first hour, and beating the goal in just over a day.

To date, the total donations are over $27,000, with nearly 500 unique donors. “Thurmont is so wonderful, along with all of Frederick County,” Bowers said. “If you look at the donors, there are students from every school. It’s been a heartfelt experience.”

The Droneburg family has felt the love from the community following such a tough year. “It’s been amazing just to know that these people who we know and don’t know were willing to help us in any way possible,” Wade said. “We as a family really do appreciate it more than they realize.”

Times like these galvanize a community, and so many people coming together to help a family in a difficult situation shows the character of the people in Northern Frederick County. Something like this is bigger than football, and everyone’s efforts to support the Droneburg family has made a huge difference.

Despite a tragic end to his senior football season and a lot of challenges ahead for recovery, Droneburg has been making strides every day. “It’s coming along, and he’s getting memories back,” Wade said.

Brain injuries can be tremendously unpredictable, and the effects can be permanent depending on the severity of the injury. Fortunately for Droneburg, he has a great support system behind him, and a whole team of football players cheering him on.

Droneburg will be the team’s greatest source of inspiration throughout the rest of the adjusted season. Colan will be fighting right alongside the Cougars over the coming months.

“He’s got an appointment at the end of March for another scan, and in April he goes for a neurological evaluation and more going forward,” Wade said. “It’s going to be a long road.”

Between Droneburg’s physical therapy and hospital bills, the family could use all the help they can get. To donate, visit their GoFundMe page online at: www.gofundme.com/f/help-colan-recover-catoctin-football-injury.

Senior Colan Droneburg suits up for the Catoctin Cougars.