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Carl and Jeanne Angleberger’s love story began when Carl’s mom suggested he take Jeanne on a date. One day, after leaving the office where Jeanne was a dental assistant (in Thurmont), she rode home with her aunt because her car was in the garage, and she needed a ride home. Carl’s mom, Alma, and Jeanne’s aunt worked together at Moore Business Forms in Thurmont. Jeanne met Carl’s mom that day, riding in the car less than two miles. When Carl came home from work, Alma told Carl that she “met this nice girl today,” and he needed to ask her out. Carl had a girlfriend at the time. But his mom insisted that he ask Jeanne out. And, finally, Carl took her advice! Maybe a month or so later, Carl and Jeanne met at a dance at the Casablanca in Thurmont and started dating. The year was 1964. Carl had finished serving four years in the Navy at the time.

Carl and Jeanne were married on August 20, 1966. In those days, newlyweds started with nothing except their love for each other! Carl and Jeanne rented a small apartment in Emmitsburg. Their rent was $65.00 a month. The newlyweds started out with used appliances and living room furniture. They purchased a bedroom set and a small television.

For a wedding gift, they received a new card table and chairs and used that for their dinner table. They each had a car payment. “We had to make it work! It’s what newlyweds did!” said Jeanne.

Now 56 years of marriage later, you may wonder how Carl and Jeanne manage to have fun and continue to enjoy life to the fullest, side by side.

Carl says Jeanne always supports him. Jeanne says it’s about being a team. Marriage is about give and take. When Carl started his police career in 1967, he needed Jeanne’s support. It was Carl’s dream to become a policeman, and he enjoyed every moment of his police career for 39 years. Today, they are both grateful for this decision made early in their marriage because the career path Carl chose gave him job security and provided healthcare for them both. And for Carl, it was a dream come true. Today, his law enforcement career is providing life benefits in their retiring years. In addition, Carl was an active fireman in the Frederick County Volunteer Fire Service for 40 years. Besides extensive training by Carl, it also required team effort by Jeanne. Carl enjoyed serving Frederick County as a volunteer, not knowing a Length of Service Award was available to him upon his retirement.

Jeanne always put their marriage on the front burner. “Pay attention to your feelings and your love for each other. Stay romantic!” said Jeanne. Friday night is the couple’s date night. They go out to dinner with another couple. “Romance comes naturally when a couple is in love. Holding hands is easy.” They always exchange holiday and anniversary cards and take the time to choose the perfect card. The words must read what they want to say. When opened, Carl reads his and Jeanne reads hers. “It can be emotional and sometimes it is,” said Jeanne.

Healthiness and happiness go together! This is an absolute motto of Carl and Jeanne. Jeanne believes gratitude and appreciation must be part of the marriage walk. Saying thank you may be simple, but it means so much.

Keeping romance in their marriage is special and exchanging “I love you” is repeated each and every day. A loving marriage is easily demonstrated by the actions of a husband and his wife. They easily hug each other no matter where they are. Carl opens the car door for Jeanne. He speaks highly of Jeanne, and Jeanne speaks highly of Carl. Smiling at each other is a sure sign you’re happy; showing kindness to one another and complimenting each other. Jeanne’s cooking and baking is true love to Carl! During the pandemic, the couple posted skits on Facebook, with Jeanne taking Carl’s order from a menu. The fun was reading the comments! Occasionally, friends still comment on those Facebook pandemic postings.

Every day, Carl and Jeanne listen to 60s music—the same songs they heard and loved during their dating days. You may find them dancing either in the kitchen or the garage.

Carl and Jeanne’s son, Chris, gave them a “Kissing Bell” on their anniversary. “To start each day, we ring the bell showing our love for each other,” said Carl. 

Their favorite adventure is cruising on the high seas. They love the shows and the music at the nightclubs. Their most recent cruise was last month in January to celebrate Jeanne’s birthday. Carl and Jeanne usually plan three cruises each year. Their first cruise was taken in 1976, celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.

Carl and Jeanne’s lives have rarely been interrupted by disagreements or arguments. Above all else, they both say that how good your life can be will largely come down to how you choose to look at life and marriage. “It really is in the attitude. Everyone has challenges. Look for solutions within every situation. Usually, there is a lesson waiting to be learned. By all means, communicate! Marriage is a man and woman uniting as one. Work things out together.”

Carl and Jeanne truly are a team and always work things out together, looking for the best solution in all of life’s challenges and situations. Jeanne would tell you that some solution findings take longer than others! The key is to stick it out together. And to not forget to have fun together along the way. Carl has always been a big advocate of this! Jeanne is so glad!

Fifty-six years of marriage and looking forward to many, many more, Carl and Jeanne’s picture could be placed in the dictionary, right next to the definition of “love.”

It is obvious they are committed, that they are a team, that they love deeply, and that throughout their marriage, they have worked together to keep it healthy and strong.

Carl and Jeanne’s sentiment: “Stay positive. Enjoy the present moment. Live, laugh, and love!”

Carl and Jeanne Angleberger’s wedding day, August 20, 1966.

Photos Courtesy of Carl & Jeanne Angleberger

Blair Garrett

Love is in the air.

February is a time of appreciating the love we do have, whether it’s for your significant other who’s always there to listen to you, your family who is always there to care for you, or your friend who is always there to make questionable decisions with you. Love comes in many forms, and in the modern dating world, things are tremendously different than they have ever been.

The trend to find a partner is going virtual, with nearly one in four relationships starting online since 2020. Among many things, technology has completely revolutionized the way we date. Instead of vetting potential mates based on what you know about them and your in-person experiences with them, we can now decide based on a few pictures and a conversation or two, should you decide to go the online route.

Meeting partners online gives singles access to meeting fun and interesting people, no matter their current circumstances. In the adult world, it can be hard to branch out and meet new people if you’re living in unfamiliar territory. Say you get a new job away from home, or you’re going to school out of state. There are hundreds of apps and outlets to start friendly or romantic relationships online, and the connectivity of the internet has made that more available than ever before.

Beginning relationships online does have its drawbacks, though, and before you enter that world, it’s good to educate yourself on what you might be getting into.  

Online dating emphasizes quantity over quality when choosing dates. The general idea is the more feelers someone puts out, the higher the chances of them landing a potential date. While that has become the norm, it may not always lead to success when venturing out into the virtual dating pool.

The problem is that it can degrade the level of communication when your focus goes from one person to many. Think of it like a flashlight. A concentrated beam of light shows great contrast and detail, but when you greatly widen the scope, you may pick up more of the surroundings, but the shine may not be as bright on the things right in front of you.

The tendency is often to match, send a low-effort pickup line, and repeat. Some people cut straight to the chase, immediately stating their intentions, but that also takes time and effort.

When it’s a numbers game, people put less and less thought into their connections, because it takes more time to do so. The less time and energy someone has to dedicate to a stranger, typically the less lively and engaging the conversations end up being.

One of the big pitfalls of online dating is the lack of context with your match. Without body language and other physical cues, it can be hard to pick up on a person’s real thoughts or opinions on subjects that may be important to you. That can, of course, be alleviated by meeting up for the first time and assessing the chemistry, but that, too, has its inherent problems when not approached with caution.

With social media being as volatile as it is, there’s no shortage of contention when someone can throw insults from the safety of their home. It can be difficult to iron out exactly who you’re talking to until you meet in person.

While there are certainly dangers when going out to meet a stranger for the first time, the general guidelines are to meet in a public place, have a backup plan in case things go south, and have someone you trust know your location. Most modern smartphones have a share location feature, which allows you to share your current location at any given time with an individual of your choosing.

Terrible daters are out there, and an alarming amount of both women and men have horror stories about first dates. If you think that can’t happen to you, guess again.

That’s not to say that online dating is all bad, though, as it gives people who are especially crunched for time a chance to date on their time and on their terms.

It provides people with an opportunity to connect with so many more people than they ever would have, and that’s a really valuable thing.

So many people have found success stories through the internet when dating online, but with a little attention to detail, you can weed out the duds from the studs. One thing that may be helpful is to really pay attention to the things that you need in a partner and the things that you know do or don’t work for you when meeting someone new. If you have values that are near and dear to you, compromising on those for a new boyfriend or girlfriend can spell failure down the line.

Red flags are there for a reason. They stand out, and if something doesn’t feel right with a person’s reaction or demeanor toward something important to you, you’re better off playing it safe than sorry. But fear not, everyone’s perfect person is out there somewhere. It’s just up to you to put in the effort to find them.

by James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont

For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit www.thurmont.com or call 301-271-7313.

Residents Overwhelmingly Vote Down Annexation

During January’s special election, Thurmont residents voted 834-157 to not annex 16.7 acres of agricultural land into the town for high-density development. Although part of the property is already in town, and the lot in question was in the town’s master plan for residential development, residents gathered enough votes for the special election on January 17.

Frederick-based developer Cross and Company planned on a 24.5-acre mixed-use “intergenerational community” on the property. It would have included 172 homes, a day care center, and an assisted-living center.

With the vote results, the current plan cannot move forward, although something can be done with the portion that is already in the town boundaries.

Pavilion Rental Fees Increased

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners voted to increase the rental fees for the pavilions in the town parks this year. The small pavilions will now cost $40.00 to rent and the large pavilions at Community Park will cost $60. The pavilion at Eyler Road Park is not included in this.

Purchases Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners recently approved some capital purchases for various town departments.

The electric department is purchasing a pick-up truck from Fitzgerald’s in Frederick for $42,909.

The wastewater treatment plant will be installing an emergency generator system in the plant for $370,500. This will cover the cost of the machinery and the initial $5,000 fuel charge. Most of the funds ($322,000) come from the American Rescue Plan. The remainder will come from the town’s budget surplus.

The streets department is purchasing a dump truck from Crouse Ford for $103,923. Most of the cost ($100,000) was a budgeted capital expense. The remainder will come from the town’s unrestricted fund balance.

Nearly Five Acres Added to the Town

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a resolution to annex 4.881 acres of property owned by Apples United Church of Christ and town-owned property into the Town of Thurmont.

Liaison Appointments

The commissioner liaison appointments for 2023 will remain the same as 2022: President Pro Tem – Wayne Hooper; Planning and Zoning – John Kinnaird; Thurmont Addictions – Wayne Hooper; Parks and Recreation – Wes Hamrick; Thurmont Ministerium – Wes Hamrick; Police – Bill Blakeslee; Board of Appeals – Bill Buehrer; Senior Center – Bill Blakeslee; Economic Development – Bill Buehrer; Special Activities – Wayne Hooper.

Zoning Changes Made

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners made some adjustments to the town’s zoning ordinance and how land can be developed.

The mayor and commissioners repealed the Traditional Neighborhood Floating Zone. This was a development option that had never been used in Thurmont. It had been applied for once, but not approved.

The mayor and commissioners also approved a Planned Unit Development zoning option for the town.

Emmitsburg

For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call 301-600-6300.

Frailey Farm Developer Backs Out

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners announced during the January town meeting that the developer who was seeking to build new housing on the property was not pursuing the project. The reason given was that the economy was slowing and financing for the project was becoming more expensive.

The proposed plan would been to have the town annex the 118-acre farm and then the developer would build 300 homes on it. Although the farm was in the town master plan for future residential development, some residents were not happy with the idea.

System Upgrade Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved $56,937 for the ChemScan system at the wastewater treatment plant. A similar upgrade had been made at the water treatment plant and has been very successful.

Change Order Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a change order for Bearing Construction to have trees removed on the dam at the Silo Hill Basin. This was something that Frederick County Soil Conservation required per MDE guidelines. The cost for the change is $47,185. The board also approved an agreement with Barton and Loguidice for the Silo Hill Basin tree removal engineering services. This was part of the change order request that was not in the initial scope of work.

  The cost of the work is covered by the grant that is funding the project.

American Rescue Plan Monies

Emmitsburg received $3.2 million in American Rescue Plan funds. The first payment was in 2021, and the second payment of $1.6 million came last August. The money can be spent to support public health expenditures and address negative economic impacts; replace lost public sector revenue; provide premium pay for essential workers; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

The first payment was used for the water clarifier and pump station projects. Town staff recommended that the second payment be used for water infrastructure projects such as the 16-inch main water line, with which the commissioners agreed.

Amending Development Fees

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners amended the town ordinance to approve changes to the subdivision, plan review and annexation, and forest conservation procedures. The goal is that the developers will pay the legal costs the town incurs for work related to proposed developments. This will keep the taxpayers from having to pay for work on proposals that ultimately go nowhere.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Note: Cover Photo (Never before published) Nazi medical officer poses near the High Water Mark on the Gettysburg Battlefield, 1939 (Source: National Park Service, Gettysburg). It was found by an NPS archivist while searching for materials for my book.

(Adapted from ‘Nazis’ in Gettysburg: World War II Comes to a Civil War Battlefield by Richard D. L. Fulton, pending publication.)

It’s amazing how much history has transpired on the Gettysburg battlefield that did not occur in 1863 and did not involve the collision of Union and Confederate troops.

One of those non-Civil War events occurred when the battlefield served as “home” to hundreds of German prisoners of war (who were referred to as PWs – POW being a post-World War II acronym).

As to why they were here, the war had drained the availability of military-aged men in the county (and in the country as a whole), that farmers were concerned over the resulting shortage of labor, that much of their produce would be lost before it could be harvested.

Given that the Geneva Convention allowed for the use of POW labor, as long as it was not directly employed in the production of war materials, a proposal was put forth and approved to establish POW camps around the country to house Germans to help in harvesting and other agriculturally related activities, thereby providing an opportunity for Adams County farmers to receive the much-needed labor.

The prisoners ultimately did not only help in the fields, but also in pulpwood cutting, and even in the canneries.

The first of what would be three PW compounds was constructed in 1944, when a 600-foot by 400-foot rectangular prisoner of war compound (paid by the Adams County Fruit Growers Association) was erected, paralleling Emmitsburg Road and Long Lane.

The compound consisted of rows of squad-sized tents for the prisoners, the German command tent, a canteen, the compound kitchen, two mess tents, wooden showers and latrines with concrete floors, and an exercise ground.  Adjacent to the POW compound was a section that included the quarters and associated structures utilized by the camp guard and support staff, shower and latrines, a kitchen, mess tent, administration tent, and storage and supply tents.

The entire compound, except for the portion inhabited by the army guards and staff, was surrounded by barbed wire, with a guard tower at each of the four corners of the barbed wire enclosure. Joan Thomas, daughter of the camp’s commander, Captain Laurence C. Thomas, noted that the camp guards were armed with machine guns.  This camp held 400 prisoners.

As winter approached, it was then decided to establish a new compound in the old, former Civilian Conservation Corps (which had also served as the headquarters—dubbed Camp Sharpe—for various units of the Ritchie Boys in preparation for their deployment on D-Day). 

The prisoners at the Emmitsburg Road camp had been reduced to 200 PWs, and these, along with the Army guards and staff, were relocated in November to the old CCC camp, located off West Confederate Avenue on the western slope of Seminary Ridge, which had been further modified by moving some of the structures and adding others. 

During December, the number of PWs grew to 42 German non-commissioned officers and 448 German enlisted men. The abandoned Emmitsburg camp was then dismantled. Captain Thomas was initially in command, but he was subsequently transferred to Camp Michaux (a secret World War II camp in Michaux State Forest for interrogating prisoners of war), and Captain James W. Copley (and later, Captain Clarence M. Morfit, Jr.) assumed command.

During the winter, PWs were mainly employed for cutting pulpwood. However, as spring approached, farmers became concerned that there was still not enough labor to handle the harvests and canning. This resulted in a third PW compound being constructed, directly fronting West Confederate Avenue, not far from the compound that had been established in the old CCC camp.

Although the new camp shared the same military identification as the CCC camp, it was, in fact, considered a separate camp with its own command structure, headed up by Captain Clarence K. Randall.  The compound was a tented camp as per the abandoned Emmitsburg camp. It appears that the tented encampment was to be replaced with actual barracks, which were not constructed, as the result of the end of the war with Germany.

By September 8, 1945, four months after Germany’s surrender, both West Confederate Avenue camps housed a combined total of 83 German non-commissioned officers and 799 German enlisted men and covered a combined total of 70 acres.

The Gettysburg compounds experienced a smattering of escape attempts, but all in all, there seemed to be little interest in attempting such an adventure. For one thing, the prisoners were safely out of the war and away from the poorly maintained camps overseas. 

The prisoners were also well-fed, and a little on the spoiled side, as farm families insisted that each soldier fill their pockets, or anything else they might be carrying, with farm goods.

But there were a few attempts to escape for various reasons (attempting to escape an enemy POW camp is not a crime. In fact, under international law, attempting to escape is part of a soldier’s duty.  An escapee cannot be shot while attempting to escape, although some were on both sides. They cannot be tried for attempting to escape, but they can be tried for any other crime that might have occurred during the escape).

On July 3, 1944, Thomas Kostaniak, 27, and Axel Ostermaier, 22, escaped from the Emmitsburg compound through a drainage conduit that ran from the camp and under Emmitsburg Road (the conduit is still there!), thereby having triggered a two-state manhunt that lasted for days.

The duo managed to elude capture for some 30 miles, when, by the time they reached the York area, hunger and fatigue compelled them to surrender to a farm wife, Rachel Bentzel, and her daughter-in-law, Grace Bentzel. The duo was subsequently turned over to the York police, and then the FBI, who returned them to the camp.

As to the motive for the attempted escape… they were trying to get to Atlantic City, having assumed by the name it must be a major seaport in which they could make their way aboard an outgoing ship and head back to Germany.

To illustrate the opposing extreme in escapes, during October 1945, two POWs escaped from a work detail and headed into Gettysburg Borough.  It was reported that apparently the two Germans had no real intent of escape and had merely grown bored at the camp and decided to go off on an adventure. The adventure quickly came to a conclusion when the two POWs were spotted by two off-duty camp guards, and the “escapees” were taken into custody.

As for a motive, it was reported the two wanted to see a movie (Captain Eddie: Story of Rickenbacker was playing at the time) but were refused entry because the theater would not accept their POW vouchers (script).

Prisoners of war would not have had any actual cash placed in their hands for their labors, or the result of any other source of income, their earnings being “banked” by the government and the prisoners being issued script at their encampment canteens.

Following Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945, German POWs remained in the tri-state area. At the beginning of repatriation, Pennsylvania, along with Maryland and Virginia, served as “home” to more than 35,000 German prisoners of war. The War Department began to set into motion their effort to send the one-time enemy combatants housed in the tri-state area home in November 1945.

Before being released, the Germans had to go through “de-Nazification,” which included watching German death camp films and other exposed atrocities. Upon repatriation, each prisoner also received the money the government had “banked” from their labors.

Source: NPS, Gettysburg

Aerial view: The former CCC camp that was coverted to hold German POWs.

Sources: NPS, Gettysburg & Adams County Historical Society

Emmitsburg Road POW camp tents.

James Rada, Jr.

Photo Courtesy of Findagrave.com

The Tracey triplets (from left): Mabel, Bessie, and Edith.

In 1886, Emma Catherine Tracey of Fountaindale gave birth three days in a row.

Mabel Viola was born around noon on April 4, weighing 6 lbs. Her sister, Edith Grace, was born the following day around noon, also weighing 6 lbs. Finally, Bessie Barton was born on April 6 around 6:00 p.m. and weighed 7 lbs. Dr. Abram Pierce Beaver of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, delivered the children.

A total of 54 hours separated the births.

Because of the expense involved with raising triplets, the Traceys took pictures of them on August 26 and began selling them as postcards for 25 cents each (about $11.00 in today’s dollars). One side of the card had the picture of the children. The other side had information about them and their unusual birth. However, it misspelled Mabel’s name as Mable and listed Bessie’s birth time as 4:00 p.m.

The card also mentioned that Mother Emma had been born with only one arm. Her health seemed perfect otherwise. Not only did she survive the birth of her triplets, she lived until 1949 and was 91 years old.

The girls lived long lives, marrying and having children of their own. When they were 79 in 1965, it was reported that they were the oldest living triplets in Pennsylvania, and possibly, the country.

Bessie, the youngest of the triplets, was the first to die. She passed away on February 24, 1966, shortly before turning 80. The cause of her death was listed as “Ovarian carcinoma & metastases.”

Mabel and Edith died the following year on January 17 and March 20, respectively. Mabel’s cause of death was listed as “Recurrent myocardial infarction & hypertensive cardiovascular, due to severe disease and thrombus in the left ventricle.” Edith’s cause of death was listed as “Myocardial infarction, acute, due to [illegible] heart disease and generalized arteriosclerosis.”

The sisters are all buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesboro.

Nowadays, triplets make up only about 5 percent of births, and that number has been boosted because of fertility drugs. In 1886, it was even less frequent, so the Tracey girls began life as an oddity. As the Waynesboro Record Herald noted in 1950, “The rarity of their births 64 years ago was made more significant last month when three babies were born on consecutive days, but within a much shorter span of time, to a woman in Jonesville, Louisiana. When this phenomena was learned, press associations over the world proclaimed the three-day birth series as having occurred perhaps ‘the first time in medical history.’”

But it had happened before.

Blair Garrett

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding

Mountain View Convenience Store in Thurmont is like a whole new place.

Long-time business partners, Ashish Parikh and Gagan Rao, have poured time into giving Mountain View Convenience Store the revitalized look it has today.

The store’s new facelift has all the features locals are looking for in a one-stop shop. You can get your gas, snacks, drinks, beer, and liquor, all at the same spot.

You may remember the location as an old 7-Eleven off Frederick Road years ago. Parikh and Rao have been hard at work turning their store into the success it is today, and it’s come quite a long way.

“I started in 2001 in September,” Rao said. “We took over and remodeled the old store. It used to be a 7-Eleven, and now we’ve got our own convenience store and a beer and wine store.”

The store is open 24 hours a day and has been a staple of Thurmont for decades. Despite Rao getting his start in the industry in Baltimore, he knew Thurmont was a special place to run a business, and his time has paid off tremendously.

“This was our first time in this gas station and convenience store business, but we’ve been in the liquor store business for a long time in Baltimore,” Rao said. “It’s a long commute to Thurmont, but I am happy. It’s a nice place with honest people, and we’ve had no problems in the community.”

Rao has been hard at work, making the trek each day to get Mountain View Convenience Store and the beer and wine store ready to offer locals great products at great prices.

“I have a one-hour drive in the morning and evening every day from Towson,” Rao said.

The truck stop has also been a huge convenience and a huge source of business to their store and the town. An attraction like that brings a great deal of drivers into Thurmont, and the more people passing through, the more money that gets recycled back into the town.

While Mountain View Convenience Store is its own standalone store now, the team has big plans brewing with more hopes that a strong brand name will be another lucrative venture for the duo.

“We’ve already signed the contract to merge with the brand name Sunoco, Rao said. “We’re looking to begin that in March.”

Thurmont has a lot of great businesses with great people, and Mountain View Convenience Store has all of that to offer and more.

The following are the status of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone — The Federal Stone company is proposing changes to its previously approved preliminary site plan at Creamery Court to reflect a proposed new building format and footprint and related changes to the site. The applicant has presented its revised plans to the Emmitsburg Planning Commission.

Rutter’s — Rutters fuel station and convenience store is proposing an amendment to its approved site plan to remove a forest conservation easement. This would allow the removal of trees that are now protected by the easement.

Seton Village — The Daughters of Charity Ministries, Seton Village Property, is seeking to formally replat the property, creating two lots for purposes related to ownership. This is a technical plat change, and the surveyor has been advised on the Town’s plat requirements and procedures.

The following are the status of new businesses and development coming to Thurmont:

Subdivisions

Hobb’s Division: Two approved building lots in Mixed-Use Village 1 listed for sale.

Hammaker Hills, Phase 1: 37 single-family dwelling lots in R-2 zoning district. Two homes under construction.

Hammaker Hills, Phase 2: Preliminary plat approved for 22 single-family dwelling lots.

Mechanicstown, LLC: Preliminary plat approved for 31 single-family dwelling lots.

Mountain Brooke: Preliminary plat approved for 11 single-family dwelling lots.  

Meunier Minor Subdivision: Preliminary/ final plat approved for 1 new lot and adjustment of two lots.

Simmer’s Minor Subdivision: Preliminary/final plat approved for 1 new lot.

Oak Forest Townhouse Community: 36 units in R-5 zoning district. Concept plan reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission December 15, 2022.

Site Plans

Weis Gas & Go (2 Thurmont Blvd.): Weis Markets did a partial site redevelopment – a Gas & Go fuel station to consist of three pumps and one manned kiosk – under construction.

Thurmont Business Park: Lot 1 to be developed for the relocation of Goodwill into a 17,850 square foot building – final site plan under review.

Other

The Thurmont Board of Commissioners approved the Resolution for the Annexation of 16.68 acres for an intergenerational mixed-use neighborhood with daycare and an assisted living center. Petition for annexation was suspended after a special election was held, where the town voted against the annexation.

The Gulf Company purchased Thurmont Bar & Grill. It is currently closed for some rehabilitation and will reopen at the end of February or first of March. The new name is Tavern Ten.

New Business Openings

Catoctin Mountain Massage & Wellness Center at 31B Water Street.

Mountain View Convenience Beer & Wine Store at 140 Frederick Road.

T- Mobile in Thurmont Plaza at 224 North Church Street.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Photo Courtesy of MSMU

Proposed addition (left) to the university’s Coad Science Building.

Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) will be receiving $4 million in federal workforce development STEM funds to help meet the region’s increased demand for growth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

According to Donna Klinger, MSMU executive director of communications, the funds will be used to help complete the 21,000 square-foot addition and renovation of the university’s Coad Science Building, noting that, “The Mount has experienced significant growth in science and technology programs and the funds will be used to create state-of-the-art labs and teaching spaces to meet the demands of future learners.”

Klinger reported that the scope of work for the Coad Science Building includes three phases that will begin in March, with the addition of neuroscience, computational, and microscopy research labs, as well as collaborative learning spaces. The second phase will contain the second and third levels of the addition with science labs, classrooms, and experiential research spaces. The third phase will renovate the existing space in the Coad Science Building, according to the communications executive director.

The appropriation, she said, was secured by U.S. senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representative David Trone, “who support the expansion of the Coad Science Building and work-based training in rural Maryland,” adding, “The members of Congress expressed support for the Mount’s efforts to build educator-industry partnerships and strengthen cross-disciplinary STEM courses, especially in computer science, cybersecurity and the physical sciences.”

The federal funds stem from federal congressionally directed spending from the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, signed into law on December 29, 2022. Congressionally directed spending allows members of Congress to recommend important projects in their state or district for consideration by the Senate and house appropriations committees.

MSMU President Timothy Trainor stated, “We are grateful to Congressman Trone and senators Cardin and Van Hollen for their support of the university’s expansion and renovation of our STEM research facilities to support American competitiveness in high-demand fields such as computer science, data science, cybersecurity, neuroscience and biological, environmental, and physical sciences, as well as contribute to a highly trained STEM workforce for the state of Maryland.”

Senator Cardin stated, “Maryland’s future economy is a STEM economy, and our workforce must be trained and equipped to thrive in these fields. This new, $4 million investment in Mount Saint Mary’s Coad Science Building will ensure that its students who are seeking expertise in the STEM fields have a first-class learning facility to prepare them.”

Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Committee, emphasized that STEM skills are more in demand than ever, and teaching students in these fields will help prepare them for well-paying jobs while strengthening Maryland’s workforce, adding, “That’s why we fought to deliver this direct federal funding for Mount St. Mary’s.”

“Providing every Marylander an opportunity to succeed, especially in high-skill, sought-after trades like STEM, is a win-win for all of us. Not only will these programs help develop our country’s future leaders, but they will also create and fill jobs down the line in our state,” Congressman Trone stated.

Built in 1964, Coad is a three-story 50,100 square-foot building serving the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, which has outgrown the existing space and needs to be renovated for modern STEM pedagogical practices. The new classroom and lab spaces will be technology-rich, multi-use, flexible, and configurable for a variety of instructional formats and class sizes.

The $20 million Coad expansion and renovation project is also being funded by a $2 million grant from the State of Maryland, in conjunction with donations made in support of the project through the “Forward! Together as One Campaign.”  A lead donation from George B. Delaplaine, Jr. will provide the collaborative space, to be called the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons. 

Other top-level donors contributing to the expansion project are the Page Family Foundation; Trish and D.J. Monagle; Paula and Fred Neuer; and Christina Lee and Mark Sobus, J.D.

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On December 3, 2022, a fundraiser pickleball tournament for Brandi Bubzyck of Thurmont was held at the Talley Recreation Center in Frederick. Brandi is a two-time, double-lung recipient. In 2016, she attended the Transplant Games of American and took first place in the ping-pong competition. She wanted to return in 2020 to compete, but her lungs failed, and she had her second transplant at that time. She’s now determined to attend the 2024 games to compete in pickleball. The tournament was held to raise funds to be used for travel, food, lodging, and so forth.

The Victory for Brandi Pickleball Tournament was a huge success. Over $2,000 was raised, and the pickleball family showed up with smiles, laughter, and good will. Not only was money raised for Brandi’s trip, but the fundraiser also brought awareness to organ donation through The Living Legacy Foundation. Without it, Brandi would not be with us today.

The first-place winners were: Women’s 2.5—Marcia Geppert and Carin Hawkins; Women’s 3.0—Kathy Moreira and Mindy Davis; Men’s 3.0—John Peterson and David Stroh; Mixed 3.5—Royce Bruce and Tania Danner.

Donations are still being accepted for Brandi Bubzyck’s competition in the 2024 Transplant Games of America. Thank you to the fundraiser’s generous local sponsors: The Ott House, The Farmhouse Exchange, Catoctin Breeze Vineyards, Bollinger’s Restaurant, and Dragon Distillery of Frederick.

Photo by Carie Stafford

Guest Speaker Sheriff Chuck Jenkins speaks at the National Wreaths Across America Day Ceremony, sponsored by the Thurmont Lions Club.

The second Saturday of December is National Wreaths Across America Day, and this year was the third year the Thurmont Lions Club has sponsored the program in Thurmont.

On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, a tractor trailer owned by Sheetz, Inc. was given an escort from Catoctin Furnace Road on Rt. 15 to the Thurmont American Legion Post 168 by the Thurmont Police Department and the Thurmont Guardian Hose Company.  Cub Scout Pack 270 and BSA Scout Troop 270 were on hand to assist in off-loading 70 boxes, equaling 630 wreaths.

On Saturday, December 17, the Thurmont Lions Club hosted a ceremony, with guest speaker Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. Veterans laid wreaths to recognize each branch of the military, and Sheriff Chuck Jenkins laid a wreath in honor of all emergency services personnel. 

Thurmont residents, along with Cub Scout Pack 270, BSA Scout Troops 270B & G, Venturing Crew 270, and Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital, laid wreaths at five cemeteries: Weller United, Blue Ridge, Mt. Carmel, Apples Church, and Graceham Moravian cemeteries. The Wreaths Across America mission is to Honor, Remember, and Teach.  

If you would like to donate or purchase a wreath, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/MDBLUE  or www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/MDWELL, or send to The Thurmont Lions Club, 15000 Roddy Road, Thurmont, MD 21788 (in the notes, put Veteran name and cemetery).

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Pictured from left are Wayne Harris, Zone 3 Lt. Governor, who performed the installation; Loberta Staley, secretary; Patricia Goff, director; Jim Brown, vice president; Frank Warner, president; Odale Martin, treasurer; and Trevella Foster, Zone 3 governor.

The Lewistown Ruritan Club held an election of officers at the January 3, 2023, meeting.

The Lewistown Ruritan Club is a service-oriented club that provides financial support for many local community functions, in addition to the annual scholarship program for local students. The club is also known for its famous chicken BBQs, held each year from May to October at the pavilion on U.S. Route 15 (north and Fish Hatchery Road).

 The club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Lewistown United Methodist Church. Come join the club at one of its regular dinner meetings to see if you are interested in joining this very active community organization.

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BSA Scout Troops 270B & G earned the pulp and paper merit badge. Part of earning the badge is to take a tour of a papermill to see how the process works from beginning to end.

On December 10, 2022, Maryland Paper Company in Williamsport, Maryland, assisted the Troops by giving them a tour of their recycling plant.  The tour consisted of showing the Scouts how the company uses recycled cardboard and paper to make items ranging from paper to building materials. The Scouts asked in-depth questions, covering business to machinery and labor. 

Thank you to Maryland Paper Company and John Wright, Merit Badge counselor, for helping our youth learn important life skills.

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Pictured from left are Lions Wanda Ottey and Ruth Heaney, President Julie El-Taher, and PDG Paul Cannada.

On December 14, 2022, PDG Paul Cannada inducted a new member into the Thurmont Lions Club: Wanda Ottey, sponsored by Lion Ruth Heaney.  Lion Wanda has lived outside of Sabillasville for approximately 24 years. She has relatives in the military in the area. She is interested in helping to build the community, working on committees in and outside of the club, and is grateful to be given the opportunity. 

The club members extended a warm welcome to its new member and welcomed her into its “Lions family.”

The Thurmont Lions Club meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at St. John Lutheran Church, located on Church Street in Thurmont. For more information, visit www.thurmontlionsclub.com or contact Lion Susan Favorite at skfavorite@comcast.net or 240-409-1747.

The Volunteer for Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Northern Frederick County group of volunteers will again offer free preparation of Federal and Maryland tax returns this spring. Starting February 8, 2023, you can call 301-471-5757 (the same phone number as last year) to make appointments for the week of February 20. As usual, the deadline for filing your taxes is mid-April.

The group, working under IRS guidelines and certified by IRS to prepare certain types of returns, will follow the same general process for making appointments and preparing tax returns as before COVID. You must first call a volunteer for an appointment. When you call, the volunteer will ask you several questions about your 2021 income, filing status, and other tax factors to determine if IRS allows the group to prepare your taxes. If IRS does, the volunteer will make your appointment and ask you to bring your tax documents with you to the Thurmont Regional Library, located at 76 E. Moser Road in Thurmont. All taxes will be prepared at the library.

The Thurmont High School Alumni Association wishes to remind potential applicants that scholarship applications are found and must be submitted online between March 1 and March 31, 2023, at the Community Foundation of Frederick County website at www.frederickcountygives.org.

In June 2022, the Thurmont High School Alumni Association in conjunction with the Donald Lewis Memorial Fund and the Donald Dougherty Jr. Memorial funds awarded $22,400 in scholarships to six high school seniors. Each applicant must be related to a Thurmont High School graduate or a Catoctin High School graduate from the classes of 1969 to 1974. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles are encouraged to remind busy high school seniors of these scholarships.

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Pictured are Lion Joyce Anthony; Nick Goodrich, Autumn Lake Healthcare; PDG Paul Cannada.

In November 2022, Santa deputized special elves to collect goodies to fill Christmas stockings for residents at the Autumn Lake Healthcare at Glade Valley. The elves delivered all the goodies at the Thurmont Lions Club meeting on November 9. This was the club’s service project for December, with members assembling the stockings for delivery to the facility.

On December 23, 2022, PDG Paul Cannada and Lion Joyce Anthony delivered the 118 stockings and 118 Christmas cards to the Autumn Lake Healthcare at Glade Valley. Activities Director Nick Goodrich was so appreciative of the items. This was a heartfelt service project for the club, and it was fun to spread a little Christmas cheer to folks who have had a really tough year and could not be with their families during the holiday season.

Lion Joyce Anthony received a thank you letter for the club’s thoughtfulness, generosity, and adding joy to the residents.

For more information about the club, visit www.thurmontlionsclub.com or contact Lion Susan Favorite at skfavorite@comcast.net or 240-409-1747.

The New Year is a good time for people to clean out their pantries. The Thurmont Food Bank can use all the donations you offer, as long as they are not outdated, not opened, and not going bad. Unopened hygiene and cleaning items would also be appreciated. Non-perishable donations can be placed in the cart in the entryway anytime, and perishable donations can be delivered on Tuesday or Friday (from 11:00 a.m-1:00 p.m.) when volunteers are present.

Volunteers are needed at 8:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month to unload and process food received from The Maryland Food Bank.

A huge “Thank You” goes out to the Thurmont Food Bank volunteers who put in hundreds of hours each month to provide food for people in need. In December, they gave out two weeks’ worth of food more than 410 times! Drop a thank you card off at the Thurmont Food Bank or mail it to P.O. Box 74, Thurmont, MD 21788, so they can fill up a gratitude wall and let the volunteers know how much they are appreciated!

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Baton Twirling Holiday Show at Catoctin High School.

The Catoctin-Aires Twirling Corps recently hosted its annual holiday showcase of baton twirling. This marks the group’s 49th year of holiday stage-show programs. The event was held at Catoctin High School.

With over half of the organization as first-year twirlers, the group debuted the following new students with group-stage performances: Kasandra Grimes, August Miller, Cheyanna Sipes, Sydney Topper, Faith Walker, and Georgia Winslow. The group represented a mix of ages, from 4 through 11. Performing their no-drop group routine, the first-timers twirled one baton to the musical selection, “Celebrate.”

Seasoned twirlers of the group were Ruby Elswick, Caitlyn Purdum, and Kelly Reed. This trio performed one, two, and three batons to the musical selection, “Heart of Rock And Roll.” These girls continue twirling with the organization, having had years of experience in the sport.

In addition to the group numbers presented, Kasandra Grimes twirled a one baton and ribbon-stick solo to the song, “Shake It Off.” Caitlyn Purdum brought her one-baton, two-baton, and lighted-baton routine to the song, “Worlds Smallest Violin.”

Rounding out the show and bringing a holiday spirit to the show was Sydney Topper with her one- and two-baton routine to the song, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Following the entertainment portion of the program, the group presented perfect attendance awards, as well as recognition awards. Kelly Reed was honored with the plaque and pin for having achieved 35 years of consecutive perfect performance attendance. Caitlyn Purdum was recognized with the pin for her achievement of 19 years of consecutive perfect performance attendance.

The trophy for the Most Improved Twirler was presented to Sydney Topper for the greatest improvement as a progression in baton-twirling skills throughout the year. The High Fundraising Award went to the family of Faith Walker for outstanding efforts in fundraising throughout the year. Miss Walker received the High Point Award, as well as a new baton, in recognition of her contributions.

Completing the evening was the crowning of the Queen for 2023. Members of the group voted for one member to represent the group as Queen for 2023. The elected title went to Ruby Elswick, who received the sash and crown. She will be featured in the group’s hometown parade in the coming parade season. Members of the royal court were August Miller and Faith Walker.

Thurmont’s MASONIC Acacia Lodge No. 155 is offering two scholarship awards this year.

Since 1995, Thurmont Masons have awarded scholarships worth over $100,000 to area students. Scholarships are available to all graduating high school seniors from a Maryland State accredited public, private, and/or homeschool program who reside within the Catoctin High School district boundaries, as per the Frederick County Public School district map (see FCPS District Map at www.fcps.org/dept/facilities/boundaries).

Scholarship application forms are available at the Catoctin High School Guidance Office and the Thurmont Public Library. Interested students must complete an application and return it to the location where it was obtained on or before April 30, 2023.

The successful applicant and their family will be invited to Acacia Lodge’s Annual Strawberry Festival in June for the presentation of the Scholarship.

Questions regarding the application should be directed to Acacia Masonic Lodge No. 155, attn: Scholarship Committee, via the Lodge website at www.thurmontmasons.com.

written by James Rada, Jr.

A serial fiction story for your enjoyment

4: You Can’t Go Home Again

Thomas Hamilton was in no rush heading back to Rocky Ridge because he had no idea what he would do when he got there. All he knew was that the bridge at Loys Station was the key to him getting home. Scratch that. He was home. He needed to get back to his own time, and the bridge was the way there.

The problem was that he didn’t know how it worked. He had wound up in the 1950s simply by walking across the bridge at the wrong time.

It didn’t make sense to Thomas. He only hoped it was all part of a bad dream he was having and that he would wake up. Maybe a car had hit him while he had been jogging in the fog. He rolled his eyes. How worried must he be if he was wishing he were unconscious by the side of the road?

Until he figured out what was happening, his body still told him he needed to drink and eat. He inquired at the farms he passed whether they needed a hand. Thomas knew farming. He was a farmer, so it was work he could do. No one needed help. Some paid him for odd jobs that he did, like sharpening plow blades or chopping wood, but they were one-time jobs. Thomas wanted to find steady work in the area while he tried to sort through what was happening to him.

He finally came upon a farm along Myers Road that could use his help.

“What do you know about farming?” John Weikert asked him. John had broken his leg earlier in the week and needed help. His daughters and wife were doing their best, but they had other things to do besides work in the field all day.

“I’m a farmer,” Thomas said. “I have a degree in agriculture.”

John snorted. “My youngest has a coon-skin cap, but that doesn’t make him Davy Crockett.”

“I grew up on a farm. I’m working my way out to Western Maryland to help my brother with his farm near Grantsville.”

“I need someone to help until I get this thing off.” He slapped his cast. “I won’t hire someone only to have him leave in two days.”

“I understand, sir.” Thomas didn’t know how long it would take him to figure out what was happening at the bridge. He doubted it would be something he figured out quickly, though.

In the end, John hired Thomas. Thomas got room, board, and what Thomas assumed was a fair wage for the time. He had to adjust his thinking about money. Even expensive things in 1951 seemed cheap when he compared them to 2021 prices.

John showed him to a room in the barn that had been built for a hand to live in, although the Weikerts hadn’t used a hand regularly for years. Thomas unpacked his clothes and sat on the bed. The room was small but comfortable. It was well-lit with a bed, bureau, sink, chair, and desk. John explained that Thomas still had to use an outhouse and the claw-foot tub behind the barn for his other needs. The barn had power, but the waterline had only been run to a spigot behind the barn.

Thomas came into the house at 7 p.m. for supper. He was looking forward to having his first full meal in two days. Up to now, he had been living off what he could scrounge from farms he passed, but the fruits and vegetables weren’t always ripe.

As he walked into the kitchen, John said, “This is Thomas. He’s going to be our hand around here until I get the cast off.”

Thomas looked around at the Weikerts. John and Amelia had three children, and one of them was the young woman Thomas had frightened when he came across the bridge yesterday. Her name was Jessica. He saw by her expression that she recognized him. The Weikerts also had a 10-year-old named Nathan and a 6-year-old daughter named Emily.

As soon as Thomas smelled the sausages and vegetables on the table, his stomach growled loudly.

Amelia laughed. “Someone’s hungry.”

“I guess I am, ma’am,” Thomas said. “It smells wonderful.”

He ate dinner quickly, or as quickly as he could between answering questions from the family. He tried to keep his story as close to the truth as he could. He didn’t want to have to remember too many lies.

He woke up early the next morning and dressed in his sweat clothes. He had washed them in the sink the night before and hung them in his room to dry. They would have to serve as his work clothes until he could find something else.

When he walked into the kitchen for breakfast, Jessica laughed at him. “I thought you knew farming.”

“I do.”

“You don’t look it.”

“It’s all I have right now. I’ll buy something else when I get paid.”

Amelia laid an arm on his shoulder. “Ignore her, Thomas. She’s just mad.”

“About what?”

“She is learning she can’t run this farm by herself.”

Jessica blushed. “That’s not true,”

Thomas tried to suppress a grin. She looked like a young child who was pouting.

John gave them instructions on what he wanted to accomplish for the day. He had Thomas harvesting the corn using a Massey-Harris combine Thomas had only seen as an antique, although this model was fairly new. The children, including Jessica, much to her chagrin, picked tomatoes. John tended their roadside stand, freeing up Amelia to handle the additional work around the house that the children usually did.

It went smoothly. Thomas enjoyed driving the old combine. It also gave him time to think about his predicament.

After dinner, Thomas walked over to the Loy’s Bridge and walked back and forth across it, hoping to find a way to trigger whatever had sent him into the past. Nothing happened.

When he came across the bridge a third time, he saw Jessica standing to the side.

“What is it with you and this bridge?” she asked.

“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Why are you here?”

For a moment, Thomas thought she was asking why he was in the 1950s, but then he realized she meant the farm.

“I needed work,” he said.

“We don’t need your help.”

“It looks like you do. Your father can’t work in the fields, and he probably needed the help when he was healthy.”

Jessica put her hands on her hips. “It’s going to be my farm someday.”

Thomas cocked an eyebrow. “Okay.”

“Just in case you had any ideas.”

“About what?”

“About trying to take my farm.”

“Your farm? I think you have quite a few years before it becomes your farm, and even then, your father might split it between you and your brother and sister.”

“No, it will be mine. They won’t want it. I do. I can turn it into a first-class operation if my father would just listen to me. There is so much being done that is helping farmers get more from their land. I intend to grow our farm and make it larger and better.”

“It sounds like you’ll need help.”

“Not from you.”

“Why not me? What do you have against me?”

She stared at him for a few moments and then she said, “I don’t trust you. You are lying about something. You say you’re a farmer, but you don’t dress like one. You say you have a college degree, but you don’t have anything more than the clothes you’re wearing. And you keep coming to this bridge.”

Thomas was about to reply, but Jessica turned away.

And this was the woman who was supposed to be his future. It didn’t look too promising to him.

Look for what happens next in our March issue

by LA Worthington

The face in the mirror’s beginning to droop,

I walk with a wobble and stand with a stoop;

Is this the same body that once was so fit?

I cannot believe I am living in it.

My vision is blurry, my hearing is dim,

I’ve lost all my vigor and most of my vim;

I assume all these changes are time’s souvenirs…

I wonder who said these are our “Golden Years”?

April 2022

Aaron Meekins

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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!