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The Thurmont Little League Fall Ball season is in full swing, literally! From intermediate all the way down to T-ball, the kids are working hard and having a great time being back out on the field. The board of directors planned out a very extensive season, and it has been jam-packed with games and events thus far.

Speaking of the board, they welcomed several new members for the 2020-2021 year: Mike Smith—V.P. of Intermediate Division, Jeff Kuhn—V.P. of Minors Division, and Chad Hahn—Equipment Manager. They were all recently sworn into their new positions. The league would also like to thank Jeremy Johnson and Joe Wehage for their years of dedicated service as they exit their positions on the Board.

Along with the typical slate of games and practices that make up the fall season, there have been several ongoing fundraising efforts to help make up for the lost spring season. Spirit Wear and raffle ticket sales have been extremely successful in bringing in additional revenue for the league. On Saturday, August 29, the basket raffle was held, and the lucky winners were notified of their prizes. A “Mom’s Day Out” basket was won by Becky Wilson, while the “Guys Day” basket went to Richard Balsley. Two additional “Family Fun” baskets were won by Diana Merritt and Gail Bunyan. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who purchased tickets.

Over Labor Day weekend, the Major Division Twins and Orioles competed in the second annual Brunswick Little League Garel Hauver Memorial Tournament. Eleven teams played over the course of the weekend, and both Little League teams did a fantastic job representing Thurmont Little League and making the community proud.

The Hit-a-thon is the largest annual fundraiser for the league. This year, it was held on Saturday, September 12. The goal is for players to obtain sponsors to contribute money for them to get a certain number of hits. For every $10 earned, a player gets one hit, with a maximum of ten hits per player. A special bonus hit can be procured with a non-perishable food donation. This year, Thurmont Little League players raised over $8,000 and collected more than 120 items for Blessings in a Backpack. Individual prize winners were: Bryce Yocum—Overall Fundraising Winner ($365), Aiden Munday—Farthest Hit T-ball, Nemo Dewees—Farthest Hit Instructional, Seamus Riddle—Farthest Hit Minors, and Teddy Topper—Farthest Hit Majors. This event was a huge success, and the Thurmont Little League could not have done it without the support of its community and volunteers.

Finally, Thurmont Little League would like to give a special thank you to Thurmont American Legion Post 168 for donating brand new American flags for the complex. These will be put to great use as players recite the pledge to the flag before each game.

It has been a tremendous start so far, with lots of action and events. The league is looking forward to continuing on with the remainder of a successful fall season.

Hitathon winner for the furthest distance: Majors Division — Teddy Topper (221 ft.).

It’s been several months, but Thurmont Little League has finally returned to action, following the district approval of its Return to Play Plan. After the league was forced to suspend its spring season, along with all planned activities such as opening day, spiritwear sales, basket raffles, and its annual Hit-A-Thon, the league was uncertain of when baseball would return. After many meetings and conversations with county, league, and town officials, Phase 1 and 2 of the Return to Play Plan was approved on June 16, 2020. Phase 3 was approved on June 30, and the plan was amended on July 27 to include changes to certain restrictions. To view the current plan, please visit www.tllbaseball.com.

Baseball is not only resuming in Thurmont. After many years, the fields in Emmitsburg will be alive with activity as well. Thurmont Little League is lucky to be partnering with the town of Emmitsburg to use the wonderful fields that have been vacant for some time. Each division will be playing home games on these fields. They will also be utilized for team practices, as space is always limited during the season.

Activities officially resumed on June 30, with the beginning of a series of “sandlot style” pickup games for each age group. These games were open to the first 20 players to register online. The players were then split up and assigned to designated coaches who volunteered for each of the games. While no official scores were kept, it was a great way to get the kids back onto the field after several months of inactivity. Among the new restrictions in place during these games were enhanced safety measures, social distancing among players and coaches, mask mandates for coaches, umpires standing behind the pitcher’s mound, no use of dugouts or sharing of equipment, and extra sanitizing of balls and other items.

Registration for the extended fall season, running August through October, began in early July. Despite the pandemic, overall numbers were up this year due to the cancellation of other sports. The league ended up with two Major Division teams, four Minor teams, four Instructional teams, and four T-Ball teams. Practices began in the intense heat of late July, but that didn’t stop the dedicated players and coaches excited to be back on the field.

Thurmont Little League would not be possible without an amazing group of volunteers. From the board of directors, managers, assistant coaches, team moms, umpires, and down the line, nothing could be accomplished without this large cast of hard-working individuals.

Community service is a natural part of any youth organization. Because of this commitment, Thurmont Little League was happy to partner with the Potter Baseball Organization again this year, after a successful charity kickball game last summer. This group of young athletes, led by Coach and Author Jeff Potter, travels from town to town completing service projects and teaching about how baseball used to be played. On July 23, the Potter Baseball team arrived and helped volunteers from the town and league paint the Thurmont Food Bank exterior. Thurmont Little League was happy to provide lunch and snacks, with special help from Rocky’s Pizza and Thurmont Roy Rogers. The league is grateful to Coach Potter and his team and look forward to hosting them again in the near future. They will also be coordinating efforts along with the league to take a team of Thurmont youths to Cooperstown next year.

Prior to the season starting, Umpire in Chief Blaine Young held a clinic at the Thurmont Little League complex for managers and coaches to learn more about the rules and regulations for the upcoming season. There was also a focus on some of the additional restrictions and rule changes in place as part of COVID-19 and the Return to Play Plan. As mentioned, the league relies entirely on volunteer umpires. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the league website.

Finally, on Saturday, August 8, the opening day was held. Volunteers worked hard to adorn the complex with balloons, banners, and signs, outlining the new safety protocols. Basket raffles and spiritwear sales were held, and the majority of teams took part in their first official games. A successful, but hot morning was capped off with the sudden appearance of everyone’s favorite Kona Ice truck. It has been a long, hard road, but baseball is officially back at Thurmont Little League!

The groundhog failed to see his shadow, meaning Spring is just around the corner! With that, Thurmont Little League (TLL) is busy making preparations for the start of the 2020 season. On February 4, a very successful fundraiser was held at Roy Roger’s restaurant. Many families came out to enjoy a great meal to benefit the league and to register their children in person for the upcoming season. An overwhelming response to spiritwear and discount card sales led to a hugely successful evening.

Over 50 TLL players from across all ages attended the Winter Baseball Clinic at Mount Saint Mary’s University. This three-part session, led by college athletes and coaches, was a tremendous opportunity for the players to get some practice in before the upcoming season. Everyone involved seemed to really enjoy this opportunity, and the league hopes to return to campus later this year for TLL Day during one of the Mount’s home baseball games.

Player evaluations were held for the minor and major divisions on February 15 and February 23. There was an excellent turnout, and the players seemed excited to get back into baseball mode after a long winter. Team selections will occur on March 1 and, weather permitting, practices will begin the week of March 9.

TLL offers many volunteer opportunities for families to get more involved. Outside of coaching, there is always a need for concession help and volunteer umpires. TLL will hold an Umpire Clinic on March 21 for any interested parties to see what is involved or to brush up on their skills. The league is in need of adult umpires ages 18-plus, but there are also youth umpiring spots available for ages 13-17. This is a great way to earn community service hours. Umpiring spots are available for a few, or several, games if desired.

For more information, please visit the umpire section of the TLL website. Please pass the word to anyone who may be interested!

The Thurmont Little League Board has been hard at work making plans for opening day, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 4. Along with a full slate of games, the day will also include an introduction of all players and coaches, as well as a special ceremony hosted by WFRE’s own Brian Mo. The first pitch will be thrown out by head Catoctin baseball coach Michael Franklin, who is the reigning Frederick County Teacher of the Year. There will be fun for all ages, with animals on display by the National Park Service, ice cream from Antietam Dairy, face painting, basket raffles, and more. You won’t want to miss out on the fun, so please mark this date on your calendar.


TLL players attend the Winter Baseball Clinic at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

The Thurmont Little League Minors Pirates won their in-house playoff championship game on Saturday, June 15, 2019.  They won in the fifth inning, 15 to 14. Players names are: Devin Youngerman, Theron Rolko, Carson Fry, Parker Davis, Jacob Burtner, Logan Holden, Ben Blackwell, Dalton Mathias, Brody Mathias, and Tyrone Vanecho. Team coaches are Joey Youngerman, Matt Rolko, and Rick Fry.

Blair Garrett

April is upon us. The sun is shining, the last remnants of snow are finally withering away, and the faint sound of kids flocking to the ball fields are off in the distance. With the start of Little League season just a few days away, kids between ages 4-12 across Emmitsburg and Thurmont are breaking in the mitts getting their first taste of Spring baseball for 2019.

For years now, baseball has been the pinnacle of success for the local youth leagues, with Thurmont Little League teams winning multiple accolades and providing kids an opportunity to explore the sport of baseball in a fun and encouraging environment.

Thurmont Little League supports four teams: Tee ball, Instructional League, Minor League and Major (Little) League. Kids are separated by age where they learn everything from the basics of the game to the mechanics of becoming a great baseball player.

Over just the past few years, Thurmont baseball teams have become the 2015 and 2016 9/10 state champions, 2016 Little League District II Champions, 2017 9-11 District II Champions, 2017 Little League District II and Maryland State Champions.

Winning has followed this program for years now, and the Thurmont Little League will look to replicate that success come Opening Day on April 6. The involvement from players to coaches and down to the parents has given families a great outlet to teach and grow with their young little leaguers and may just be the foundation to the club’s success. 

The Thurmont Little League was established in 1952 and continues to be a driving force behind the love of the game of baseball in the Catoctin Area for kids year after year.

Registration may be closed for the upcoming season, but showing support at Leisner Field of the Thurmont Little League Complex is always welcome and appreciated. Come support your community and your favorite little leaguers as the teams aim for Little League glory once again.

James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg will still have baseball in town this season, but it won’t be provided by the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League (EBSL). Because of dwindling support and participation, the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League is taking a break to either re-energize or disband.

According to an e-mail from the EBSL to the Town of Emmitsburg, “Through the devoted efforts of a few, Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball managed to somehow survive the dwindling number of players and volunteers, but the time has now come to merge the two.”

Some residents expressed a bit of shock when the EBSL’s Facebook page showed a post directing players to register with the Thurmont Little League or Catoctin Recreation Council. One member wrote, “There were meetings scheduled to decide what to do. No one attended. More parent volunteers would have eliminated the need to merge with Thurmont. There were only a few board members doing all the work without a president or vice president or player agent or fund raiser, plus many more board vacancies. Some people said they would help next year, but no guarantee, and where were they for the past few years when help was needed. Too little, too late. This will at least provide the opportunity for more kids to play.”

Sandy Umbel with the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League said it has been years since the league has had a full board. This means that more and more duties fell on a smaller number of volunteers, and this led to fewer people willing to volunteer because they didn’t have the time to do everything. The league also had fewer than 90 participants last year. The softball program was dropped entirely because the team that did play, aged out. “To run a good program, you need probably 180 to 200 kids,” Umbel said. “Kids have been dwindling each year.”

With so few participants, all of the games could not be played against other town teams. The teams needed to travel to nearby communities to play against other teams. All of the travel proved to be a reason that many parents cited for enrolling their team in another league.

All of the Emmitsburg baseball players under thirteen years of age are being referred to Thurmont Little League so that they can register to play. Softball players are being sent to the Catoctin Rec Council.

“Little League is for every kid, and if we can get kids playing together, it’s a fabulous thing,” Thurmont Little League President Jeremy Johnson told the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners.

He said that the area’s kids played basketball, soccer, and football together already, and once they reach middle school, they participate on the same teams. That was his vision for including the Emmitsburg children in Thurmont Little League. Coaches will hold a draft, where players are picked for a team, regardless of where they live. Emmitsburg players already make up roughly a third of the 250 Thurmont Little League players.

Thurmont Little League, which was established in 1952, has a strong record. Its teams were the 2015 9/10 Maryland State Champions, 2016  9/10 Maryland State Champions, 2016 Little League District 2 Champions, 2017 9-11 District 2 Champions, 2017 Little League District 2, and 2017 Maryland State Champions.

Some discussion has taken place about whether the name of Thurmont Little League could be changed, perhaps to Catoctin Little League, to reflect Emmitsburg’s participation in the league. Thurmont Little League President Jeremy Johnson told the Emmitsburg Commissioners that his board would not agree to that at this time. He pointed out that if the name was changed, and then in a year or two the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League decided to re-organize, all of the efforts to make the changes would have been for naught.

Thurmont Little League asked the commissioners to use three of the Emmitsburg town’s ballfields for practices and games during the season. This would ensure that baseball was still played in Emmitsburg. He said that Thurmont Little League would prepare, clean, and maintain the fields for the town.

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners seemed uncertain as to whether or not to embrace the merger. They were happy that children in town would still have a baseball league, but they were disappointed that it wouldn’t be Emmitsburg Baseball.

“We’ve got to beef it (our baseball league) up and bring it back,” expressed Mayor Don Briggs.

Commissioner Cliff Sweeney asked why there couldn’t be teams that were just made up of Emmitsburg players.

“The segregation of Thurmont and Emmitsburg is defeating the purpose of why Sandy (Umbel) came to me,” Johnson said.

Sweeney then mentioned that Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League had been affiliated with Thurmont Little League at one point, but it had become part of the Cal Ripken program. He said if the town started a Little League program again, the district lines for league teams would require any Little League players from Emmitsburg to play for the Emmitsburg team, even if they were currently part of Thurmont Little League.

“We’re trying to get our league established here again, and we’re not going to get that through Thurmont, I don’t think,” Sweeney said.

Commissioner Elizabeth Buckman pointed out that besides making sure there were enough players, Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball hadn’t been able to get enough parent involvement to run the program.

While the commissioners held off approving Thurmont Little League’s field use request until the league could decide on which specific fields it did want to use, they did approve a request for Mid Maryland United Baseball League to use three of the town’s six fields.

This relatively new league has traveling teams and, unlike Little League, not everyone makes the cut to play on one of the teams. It is also much more expensive to participate in this league. The league will be sponsoring several youth clinics in town, with the goal of eventually rebuilding a new Emmitsburg Baseball League that would be affiliated with either Little League, Babe Ruth, or Cal Ripken Baseball sometime in the future.

“A lot of people want to see it restarted, and once the mechanism is moving forward, I think people will be attracted to it,” said Commission President Tim O’Donnell. “Success attracts interest.”

So, the town now finds itself in the position of having its baseball players recruited for two leagues, and neither one is organized by volunteers in Emmitsburg, at least for this year.

State championship marks only the second time Thurmont has won this prestigious honor in over sixty-six years. Read story on page 27.

Pictured from left: #54 Will Gisriel, #33 Braden Bell, #4 Griffin Puvel, #13 Donovan Baker, #35 D.J. Shipton, #7 Connor Crum, #21 Joe McMannis, #23 Braden Manning, #3 Josh Skowronski, #34 E.J. Lowry, #17 Logan Simanski, and #77 Peyton Castellow. Not pictured: Manager Tim Castellow; Coaches Chris Skowronski and Ed Lowry.

For only the third time in twenty-seven years, a team from Maryland District 2 has won the Maryland State Little League Championship.  This year’s champions are from our very own community: Thurmont Little League. Each year, over eighty Little Leagues from across the State of Maryland compete for the championship. Thurmont Little League punched their ticket to the State tournament by winning the Maryland District 2 Championship.

This State championship marks only the second time Thurmont has won this prestigious honor in over sixty-six years. The last team from Thurmont to win the Little League division State championship was the team in 2005, managed by John Tomasini. This year’s team faced some very tough competition, beating teams from Elkton Little League (11-1); Easton Little League (17-0); and then a very tough Berlin Little League, twice (3-2, 11-5).

“This is a very special group of young men,” commented Ed Lowry, Thurmont Little League president and assistant coach on the team.  “Each of these boys accept their respective roles on the team, and are willing to do whatever for the greater good of the team. They represent our communities with such pride, dignity, and class, it’s just a privilege for our coaching staff to work with these fine young men.  The success on the field is great, but the comments we get about their character is even more rewarding.”

With this victory, Thurmont Little League has earned the right to represent the State of Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic regional tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, this coming August 5-12. All of those games are televised on the ESPN family of networks.  Thurmont will play their first game on Monday, August 7, at 4:00 p.m., versus the winner of the Pennsylvania/Delaware game. Our Banner readers can watch that game on ESPN3.

With this success comes some financial challenges for the team’s families. The team just recently spent the week of July 14-21 on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, participating at the State tournament. The families incurred a collective expense of nearly $19,000 to participate at the State-level tournament. “We were very fortunate to receive a donation from the Town of Thurmont in the amount of $1,500 to help offset some of the cost. Mayor Kinnaird and Board of Commissioners from Thurmont have been staunch advocates and supporters of our program over my tenure at Thurmont Little League. Other than their generous donation, our families picked up the rest of the expenses,” Lowry commented.

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Thurmont Little League, both on the field and making the preparations to get to the Bristol, regional tournament in August.

“Unfortunately, Little League doesn’t contribute to the expenses of the families to get to Bristol. It’s a real financial burden in some cases.  We estimate the expenses somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000,” stated Lowry. Thus, the Thurmont Little League players and families are in active fundraising mode. If you would like to donate, you can do so via their “GoFundMe” page at: www.gofundme.com/11-12ThurmontAll-Star-s, or go directly to their website at TLLbaseball.com and click on the “donate” link.

“The great part about this is that everyone in the community can be a part of this. You will get to watch the team play on ESPN and know that your donation helped get them there,” said Lowry.  “We have adopted the hashtag #SmallTownBigDreams for this team, and I can assure you that this group of boys will make you proud to say that they are a team from your hometown community.” The Thurmont Little League 11-12 team leaves for Bristol on August 4.

 

Melissa Kinna

On Saturday, April 15, 2017, over 275 Little League players, ages four through twelve, will take to the fields for the 2017 Thurmont Little League (TLL) Opening Day of Baseball. The day will begin at 8:45 a.m., with the first round of games, followed by an Opening Day Ceremony at 10:00 a.m., with special guest announcer Brain Mo from WFRE.  The Board of Directors would like to invite the entire community to celebrate the beginning of the 2017 season.

The TLL Opening Day festivities will include two Egg Hunts for the kids at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., as well as 50/50 drawings, ice cream, and more.

“Our Opening Ceremonies are always a wonderful day to celebrate our players, parents, and volunteers,” said Ed Lowry, TLL president.

Little League has provided communities around the world the opportunity for families to connect and for children to come together in a healthy, safe environment to learn the values of team sports and the fundamentals of baseball. Thurmont Little League is proud to have been able to provide this opportunity to our community for sixty-six years, and continue to be one of the largest youth sports association in the Northern Frederick County area.

It will be a great 2017 season at Thurmont Little League, so please mark your calendars for Opening Day on Saturday, April 15. Check us out on the web at www.TLLbaseball.com, visit us on Facebook: ThurmontLittleLeague, or on Twitter or Instagram @theTLLnetwork.

Thurmont Baseball is actively planning to make 2017 their best year ever. Registration is now open and is in full swing until February 24, 2017. Visit their website at www.TLLbaseball.com to register, and please share the message with your friends. Additionally, they will be offering in-person registration on February 5 at the TLL clubhouse (above the concession stand) from 10:00 a.m.-noon.

Players from Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Rocky Ridge, Woodsboro, Taneytown, and Union Bridge are welcome to register. They also offer a sibling discount that applies to families with more than one player. The 2017 League Divisions: All games played at the Thurmont Complex — Tee-Ball (ages 4-6): typically 7 to 10 teams; Instructional League (ages 5-8): typically 6 to 8 teams; Minor League (ages 7-11): typically 8 to 10 teams; Little League Major (ages 9-12): 6 teams; Babe Ruth (ages 13-18): typically 3 to 5 teams.

At the Tee-ball, Instructional, Minor, and Major divisions, all of their games are played in-house at the Thurmont Baseball Complex. This provides their families the convenience of not having to travel around the county for games during school nights. They also have their beautifully renovated concession stand, serving some of the best concession fare in Frederick County. New in 2017, they will be offering some healthier dinner options for families—but don’t worry, the pizza and nachos aren’t going anywhere!

Thurmont Little League is looking forward to seeing your player on their ball fields. Feel free to call Ed Lowry at 267-664-5059 with questions or email them at thurmontbaseball@hotmail.com. View their advertisement on page 28.

Thurmont Little League Opening Day

Grace Eyler
On April 16, 2016, the community gathered to celebrate its love for baseball and the Opening Day of the 65th season of the Thurmont Little League. At the grandstand on the league fields that are located on East Main Street in Thurmont, teams practiced and families found a front row seat. Brian Mo from WFRE welcomed a special guest, Chris Black, to the field. Mr. Black gave an update on the team that everyone has been cheering for: Team Wyatt. Chris is Wyatt Black’s father. Wyatt, a player in the Thurmont Little League, has been fighting bacterial meningitis. Chris sincerely thanked everyone for the support of his family during their challenging time, and he updated everyone on his son’s recovery. He closed by saying, “Thank you all very much, and let’s play ball!” The Thurmont Little League sold stickers and raffles throughout the day to benefit the Black family.

Shortly thereafter, the teams for 2016 began to proudly line the field, preparing for the opening pitch. This year’s Major Division includes the Cardinals, sponsored by PJ’s Roofing; the Cubs, sponsored by Concur; the Rangers, sponsored by Bekwam; the Nationals, sponsored by the Thurmont AMVETS Post 7; the Orioles, sponsored by Cousins Ace Hardware; and the Yankees, sponsored by Rocky’s Pizza.

Thurmont’s Little League Minor division includes the Dodgers, sponsored by Thurmont Free Masons; the Rays, sponsored by the Center of Life Chiropractic & Pilates Studio; the Blue Jays, sponsored by Affordable Glass; the Marlins, sponsored by Food Lion; the Orioles, sponsored by Vivint Solar; the Athletics, sponsored by Cousins Ace Hardware; and the Mets, sponsored by BKC Massage and Fitness Studio.

This year’s instructional division includes the Angels, sponsored by Resthaven Funeral Services and Davis Systems; the Braves, sponsored by Portner Trucking; the Cardinals, sponsored by Edaptive Systems; the Dodgers, sponsored by Dave Seiss Construction; the Orioles, sponsored by Mearl Eyler Painting; and the Red Sox, sponsored by the American Legion.

This year’s tee ball division includes the Cubs, sponsored by PJ’s Roofing; the Indians, sponsored by MedOne Pharmacy; the Nationals, sponsored by Roy Rogers; the Orioles, sponsored by Catoctin Dental; the Pirates, sponsored by 40 West Auto Care; the Red Sox, sponsored by Roddy Creek Automotive; and the Royals, sponsored by C.F. Kerns Trucking, LLC.

During the opening ceremony, deejay Brian Mo took a moment to recognize the 2015 Little League Maryland State Champions and the Mid-Atlantic Region runner-ups. Last year, they advanced further than any other Thurmont Little League team in the league’s history and competed against over 600 other little leagues. The community applauded as the players held their banners proudly to celebrate their accomplishments. “These boys representing Thurmont Little League were truly at the pinnacle of talent…we are very proud of their accomplishments,” said Brian Mo.

Last year’s championship team included Braden Bell, Peyton Castellow, Connor Crum, William Gisriel, E.J. Lowry, Braden Manning, Joseph McMannis, Griffin Puvel, DJ Shipton, Logan Simanski, Josh Skowronski, and Matt Utermahlen.

After the little league players and coaches pledged to the code of conduct, Melissa Kinna walked on to the field. As her audience removed their hats and held their right hands across their chest, she sang the National Anthem.

Mayor, John Kinnaird concluded the ceremony with the first pitch of the season with Dylan Nicholson. After Kinnaird whipped the ball across the field, the league’s board of directors presented Mayor Kinnaird with a plaque in appreciation of his leadership in the Town of Thurmont and his commitment to the Little League. After graciously receiving his award, he concluded the ceremony with a “Let’s play ball!”
Teams quickly dispersed off the field to regroup with parents to do exactly what they came for, to play the sport that has brought the community together for sixty-five years: baseball!
TLL_2015-Champs-Pledging-(1 Top Left – 2015 Champions (not in order): Braden Bell, Peyton Castellow, Connor Crum, William Gisriel, E.J. Lowry, Braden Manning, Joseph McMannis, Griffin Puvel, DJ Shipton, Logan Simanski, Josh Skowronski, and Matt Utermahlen.
TLL_Kids-watching-the-droneThe Orioles observe the drone as it hovers over the field.

TLL_Receiving-Plaque-2 Deejay Brian Mo from WFRE presents Mayor John Kinnaird with a plaque of appreciation after he threw 2016’s first pitch with Dylan Nicholson.
Photos by Grace Eyler

TM-drone-1 The drone flown during the ceremony captured the crowd that came out to opening day ceremony.
Photo by Steven Ward’s Drone

Emmitsburg Baseball & Softball Legue Opening Day

Grace Eyler
ALL-TEAMS-_-EmmitsburgThe overcast morning didn’t deter Emmitsburg Little League from opening day held on April 23, 2016. Coach Davy Wantz raked the sand preparing for a game while Coach Jacob Fisher practiced catching in the field. As families set up on bleachers and around the main field, others gathered around to watch the talented face paint artist from Creative Occasions perform her work on their team mates. In the meantime, the ladies in the concession stand fired up the grills and opened up for business.

From tee ball tots to the 15U little league, President Leroy Wilber introduced all teams to the field for 2016’s season. First to make their way across the freshly raked home plate was tee ball player, Evan Ryder, from the Giants. While being announced, the youngest players on the field provided entertainment to the bystanders as they found their place in line. Following the Giants, the Cardinals donning their ‘game faces’ piled into the lineup, alongside Coach Brandon Rivera.

Next up on the field, was Davy Wantz and Jacob Fisher’s well known 12U team, who holds the Maryland State Championship title since 2011. Coach Wantz, who has an outstanding 24 years of coaching under his belt, looks forward to making this the fifth year. The Red Sox were followed by Rush, last year’s runner up Silver State Champions and one of two of the girls’ softball teams. Even though the Wild Cats, who were 2015’s Silver Champions in the Frederick County Girls Softball Championship, were unable to make opening day, 20 year veteran coach, Sandy Umbel stood on the sidelines to represent her Wild Cat champs. Second to last, were the 15U Renegades, led by Coach Doug Wivell and representatives from the Warriors team.
“I’d like to thank our sponsors, Tim’s Garage, Zurgables, Stateline Guns, Melissa Wetzel, Emmitsburg Glass, Knights of Columbus and Bryant Group, Inc.” said Leroy. This year’s team sponsors included The Palms Restaurant, Emmitsburg VFW, The Emmitsburg Legion, Briggs and Associates, The Ott House, Med One Pharmacy, and Emmitsburg Exxon.

The league president also encouraged participation, welcoming new volunteers and for fundraising support. As Sandy Umbel discussed game day preparation, she commented on her excitement for the season to begin. Leroy said “Everyone here is looking forward to playing ball!”
As the weather brightened, Opening Day for Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League turned out to be a hit as they celebrated their 61st season playing baseball. Stay tuned to upcoming events for Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League by visiting them on Facebook.

EBG-Rush_Mixtape-Shot

RUSH Team photo: (top row) Coach Tina Winfrey, Ashley Glass, Kim Shields, Jade Lopez, Team Manager Leroy Wilber, Rachel Winfrey, Taylor Jackson, Coach April Jackson; (second Row) Hannah Poole, Kyla Weller, Jenna Wilber, Alexis Jackson and Allison Cool. Not pictured: McKayla Heims and Faith Rosinski.

On April 10, 2016, the Emmitsburg Wildcats 12U Softball team stood alongside Mount Saint Mary’s Softball Team during the national anthem.
Steph1Players pictured from left are: (top row) Sarah Devilbiss, Coach Amber Andrew, Coach Steph Andrew, Madison Working, Morgan Cool, Coach Shannon Cool; (bottom row) Haven Andrew, Faith Cool, Natalie Bentz, Cloe Wantz, and Lexi Cool. Not pictured: Sammy Bentz and Josie Kaas.

Cardinals_EbgCardinals Tee ball: Aaliyah Snedegar, Mason Rivera, Wyatt Droneburg, Hunter Rivera, Savannah Phebus and Coach Brandon Rivera. Not pictured: Adelynn Weatherly, Kyler Weikert, Wesley May, and Adeline Ridenour.
EBG-Red-Sox_12U_Formal-ShotRed Sox 12U (not in order): Deacon McLivaine, Joshua Wantz, David Stitley, Joel Miller, Garrett Shorb, Dodge May, Brenden Ott, Adam Wresche, Sean Himes, Kameron Berkey, Colan Droneburg, and Logan Malachowski.

Thurmont Lions Club’s Pitch, Hit, & Run Competition

Thurmont-Lions-Club-Pitch-aThe Thurmont Lions Club hosted its 1st Annual Pitch, Hit, & Run Skills Competition on Sunday, April 10, 2016, at the Thurmont Little League Complex. Five players advanced to the Sectional Pitch Hit & Run event, being held on May 22, 2016, at the LOUYAA Park in New Market, Maryland, at 9:00 a.m. Players advancing from that competition will move on to the Team PHR Competition at Oriole Park Camden Yards, with the chance of attending the finals during Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby this July. Players advancing from the Thurmont Lion’s event are as follows: Ben Krauss and Patrick Morlan in the 9/10 baseball division, Noland Kinna and Ryan Burke in the 11/12 baseball division, and Chase Bowers in the 13/14 baseball division. The Lions Club wishes the very best to these young men as they move on to the next level of competition!

 

2016 Season Preview of Thurmont Fielders

Chris Cobb
fielders-2015-seasonThe Thurmont Fielders are excited for another year of baseball. The Fielders compete in the Mid-Maryland Semi-Pro Baseball League, which is an adult amateur baseball league, operating in Carroll and Frederick Counties in Maryland. The League consists annually of eight to ten teams, with players ranging in age from eighteen to over thirty. Most players have collegiate or high school level experience, along with some former professionals.
After finishing last season with a record of 12-11 and securing fourth in the standings, the Fielders are looking for a bounce-back year, hoping to finally advance to the championship. With a disappointing loss to the Frederick Flying Dogs in the second round of the playoffs last year, the Fielders were eliminated by Frederick for the third straight season.
The Fielders’ season starts at the beginning of May and ends in July. Games are played Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. and double headers on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Home games are played at Titans Field, which is located at 12051 Old Frederick Road in Thurmont. You can view all teams and schedules at www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=mmspbl&sid=901151.
We hope to see you there!

Thurmont Little League Invites Entire Community to Join in Celebration of 65th Season of Baseball

Melissa Kinna

On Saturday, April 16, 2016, over 275 little league players, from the ages of four through twelve, will take the fields for Thurmont Little League’s (TLL) 65th season of baseball. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the first round of games, followed by an Opening Day Ceremony at 10:15 a.m. The Board of Directors would like to invite the entire community to celebrate the beginning of the 2016 season and reflect on sixty-five years of baseball history.

The TLL Opening Day festivities will include a Kid’s Fun Zone with several games and activities, raffles, 50/50 drawings, ice cream, and more—a love of baseball and a celebration of the community.

“Our opening ceremonies are always a wonderful day to celebrate our players, parents, and volunteers,” said Ed Lowry, TLL president. “This year is an extra special year as we celebrate Thurmont Little League’s 65th season of baseball. We’re excited to kick off our new season and look forward to a great year of baseball.”

Little League has provided communities around the world the opportunity for families to connect, and for children to come together in a healthy, safe environment to learn the values of team sports and the fundamentals of baseball. Thurmont Little League is proud to be able to provide this opportunity to our community for sixty-five years and continue to be one of the largest youth sports association in the Northern Frederick County area.

It will be a great 2016 season at Thurmont Little League; please mark your calendars for Opening Day on Saturday, April 16. Check us out on the web at www.TLLbaseball.com or visit us on Facebook @ThurmontLittleLeague or on Twitter or Instagram @theTLLnetwork.

Catoctin High School JV Lady Cougars Finish Successful Season

The Junior Varsity Lady Cougars recently completed the 2015-2016 season. Despite being in a new conference and playing a very tough schedule, they finished with a record of thirteen wins and seven losses. This included wins over Urbana, Walkersville, and Governor Thomas Johnson. Coaches Rick and Sara Wastler would like to thank the girls for their hard work to make this a successful season.

 

Pictured from left are: (front row) Syd Zentz, Lexi Smith, Olivia Crum, Mel Topper, Dru Long, and Rachel Waldron; (back row) Coach Sara Wastler, Chloe Wivell, Raegan Smith, Lizzie Dougherty, Kelly Glass, Summer Belanger, and Coach Rick Wastler.

Catoctin High School Sports Boosters Announce “Wall of Honor” Inductees

Catoctin High School (CHS) Sports Boosters has added a “Wall of Honor” Banner in the gymnasium to recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond the normal parent or fan support. The first two names on the banner are William “Buzz” Barker and Bernard “Bun” Wivell. Each in his own way has been a tremendous asset to the Sports Boosters, a sports program at CHS, and they both have been equally as generous with youth programs.

Mr. William “Buzz” Barker passed away on November 23, 2015. Buzz was a Frederick County Basketball referee for eight years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He volunteered for thirty-three years with both the girls and boys basketball programs, keeping the clock for over 1,300 games. He helped with the “chain gang” for football games, helped with timing events at track meets, and umpired at little league games over the years.

His family has created the “Buzz” Barker Scholarship Fund in his memory through Sports Boosters. Accepting the “Wall of Honor” recognition for William “Buzz” Barker were daughter Gwenae Wachter and husband Jerry and daughter Krista Kae Hazen and husband Matt.

Mr. Bernard “Bun” Wivell is the Treasurer of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company and has held that position for forty-three years. He was chosen because of all the support over the years to CHS Sports Boosters, youth programs, and fees for families in distress through the Michael L. and Douglas A. Wivell Memorial Fund. One of the first big projects was the clothing shack down at the Football Stadium; filling a need for a place for students to purchase apparel and miscellaneous items to promote school spirit, the “Clothing Shack” was born.

CHS-Wall-of-Honor-inductees

Pictured from left are Gwenae and Jerry Wachter and Matt and Krista Kae Hazen, accepting the “Wall of Honor” for William “Buzz” Barker; and “Wall of Honor” Inductee, Bernard “Bun” Wivell.

Catoctin Girls Basketball Celebrates Alumni Night

Catoctin High School Girls Basketball invited alumni to be their guests at the basketball game on February 2, 2016.

There was a very nice turn out for the first year, considering the date had to be changed due to inclement weather. Alumni were introduced at the break between the JV and Varsity games. A brief reception was held after the Varsity game, and everyone enjoyed visiting with old friends.

Thurmont-Almuni-bball

Alumni in attendance were: (kneeling) Donna Martin ’74, Denise Sanders Valentine ’79, Anne Umbel Benjamin ’72, Jenn Eyler Creeger ’02, Morgan Cole ’11, and Sarah Wastler ’05; (center) Carol Gearhart Long ’72, Samantha Valentine ’05; Jessica Valentine ’05; and Lindsay Benjamin Fuss ’98; (standing) Karen Stitely ’81, Liv Myers ’72, Loretta Stitely Stouter ’79, Karen and Long Cole ’75, Melissa Shaw Kinna ’96, Cyndi Benjamin Miller ’01, Vicky Seiss Troxell ’93, and Tina Boyd Reaver ’80.

Photo by Georgette Stitely

 

2016 Mid-Maryland Jayvee “A” League Champion Catoctin Cougars

Catoctin won its first-ever League tournament championship, taking jayvee honors in the “A” championships. This is the first time in the history of Mid-Maryland Basketball that a Catoctin team has won the league championship tournament. They are very proud of their players.

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2016 Mid-Maryland Jayvee “A” League Tournament Champion Catoctin Cougars: (back row) Coach Jim Weddle, Aiden Shadle, Josh Maze, Bryson Caballero, Chase Bowers, Connor Kock, Bryant Palmer, Mason Albright, Coach Brian Burdette; (front row) Zach Whitmore, Dylan Click, Garrett Malachowski, Tommy Fitzgerald, Ethan Burdette, Garrett Mayhew, and Coach Darryl Dextrauder.

Catoctin MYBA U12 Girls Team Finishes Sucessful Season

The Catoctin MYBA U12 Girls Basketball team finished a very successful season, winning the championship.

Catoctin-MYBA-U12-Girls-Cha

Pictured from left are: (back row) Coach Jenn Cregger, who has been volunteering/coaching for CYA Girls Basketball for the past thirteen years; Hailie Dawson, Brynn Shank, Katie Glass, Assistant Coach Brian Glass; (middle row) Mackenzie Thompson, Jaz Weedon, Liza Morgan, Jenna Zentz, Corinn Gregory, Anna Belluomo; (bottom row) Dakota Fitzpatrick, Reese Fox, and Allison Brawner.

Catoctin High School Softball to Hold Crab Cake Dinner

The Catoctin High School (CHS) Softball Team will hold a Crab Cake Dinner Fundraiser on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the American Legion in Thurmont, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Dinner will include two crab cakes (a Vigilant Hose Company specialty), baked potato, green beans, coleslaw, roll, drink, and your choice of a dessert. The cost is $15.00 per dinner (eat in or carryout). You can purchase tickets from any CHS softball player or call Coach Jess at 301-788-0976 to hold your tickets at the door. All remaining tickets will be sold at the door until dinners are sold out.

10U Catoctin Baseball Club Claims the Tournament Championship

The 10U Catoctin Baseball Club (CBC) traveled to the Durham, North Carolina, metropolitan area over the weekend of March 18-20, 2016, and were named the Champions of the AAU Super Regional tournament, outscoring their opponents 53-25 over five games.

Over the course of two days, the 10U CBC went five wins and zero losses, competing against teams from Virginia and North Carolina, to claim the tournament championship. One of the highlights of the tournament came in the semi-final round with CBC trailing Elon Phoenix Baseball Club. Down 5-0, Joe McMannis belted a grand slam to put the game in reach. In the bottom of the last inning, Brad Butts singled to tie the game up, and Peyton Castellow’s “walk off” single clinched the game for CBC. Catoctin Baseball Club went on to beat 4G3 Baseball Academy (Greensboro, NC) 17-9 in the championship final.

10U-Catoctin-Baseball-Club

Pictured from left are: (top row) Brad Butts, Dominic Moats, Joe McMannis, Braden Manning, Garrett Worth, Ajonte Bullock, Caden Diggs; (bottom row) Danny Orr, Peyton Castellow, D.J. Shipton, and Donovan Baker.

Catoctin Youth Association’s Sharks Basketball Team Finishes a Great Season and Gives Back to Community

de Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) Rec Basketball team, the Sharks!  This season, they focused on learning basketball fundamentals; being coachable; and most importantly, teamwork.

The team celebrated their last practice by bringing in non-perishable food items to donate to the Thurmont Food Bank. These young people have learned that they can bring teamwork outside of the court and into their community. CYA would like to thank the Sharks’ players and their parents for all of their support.

CYA-Sharks

Pictured are: (back row) Keelm Dove, Zachary Kerr, Chance Dove, Josh Deyton, and Ethan Williams; (front row) Simon Burrier, Zachary Williams, Carson Fry, Gavin Horn, and Jake Miller.

The Thurmont Little League (TLL) All-Star season is still underway, but TLL is gearing up for an exciting season of fall baseball. Thurmont Little League is open to players from Thurmont, Emmitsburg, Sabillasville, Woodsboro, Rocky Ridge, Taneytown, and Union Bridge.

“Thurmont Little League and Little League International thrives by building virtues of character, courage, and loyalty to the community, which is why the board of directors here at TLL feel so strongly about the Little League mission and the benefits it provides to our servicing communities. When we extended our league’s boundary to the outlining communities, we broadened the Little League virtues and exposed our players to those qualities with the intent of bettering the overall communities in our region. Our goal is to make these youth athletes successful on the field and, more importantly, successful off the field,” said Ed Lowry, president of Thurmont Little League.

The TLL fall baseball season is a great opportunity for players to continue and enhance their baseball skills. We strongly encourage players to sign up for the division they wish to play in the 2016 spring season, so they can get a better idea of the game rules and procedures of that division.

You may register online at www.TLLbaseball.com (through August 23). In-person registrations are now taking place every Monday evening through August 17 at the Thurmont Little League clubhouse, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Our fall baseball season will begin late August and run through the end of October and cost $60.00 per player (players can receive a $10.00 discount if they register before July 31). Visit www.TLLbaseball.com for more details. If you have questions, please call league President Ed Lowry at 267-664-5059 or email thurmontbaseball@hotmail.com.

Registration for the 2015 Spring Thurmont Little League (TTL) is now open. Online registration is available at their website until Friday, February 20, at www.TLLbaseball.com.

Players for Thurmont, Sabillasville, Emmitsburg, Rocky Ridge, Woodsboro, Taneytown and Union Bridge are welcome to register. Come be a part of the Little League experience.

At the T-ball, Instructional, Minor, and Major divisions, all of their games are played in-house at the Thurmont Little League Complex. This provides families the convenience of not having to travel around the county during school nights for games. Each division’s coaches follow a strict core of coaching objectives developed by their program to ensure all children are taught the same basic skills to develop their baseball talents.  The TLL Coaching Coordinator oversees the implementation of this program at all levels. Each level provides flexibility with respect to age, so players advance according to their ability. Young players who master the skills are able to advance and are not held back simply because of their birth date.

Additionally, they have undergone major improvements to their facilities to ensure their ball players get to take advantage of the best facilities their program can provide. More improvements are on the way come spring.

All games are played at the Thurmont Complex: T-Ball (ages 4-6):  typically 7-10 teams; Instructional League (ages 5-8): typically 6-8 teams; Minor League (ages 7-11): typically 6-7 teams; Little League Major (ages 9-12): new this year, they will field 6 teams.

If you cannot sign up online, please visit them for the following in-person registration dates: Saturday, February 7, from 12:00-2:00 p.m.; Sunday, February 8, from 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Minor and Major tryouts will be conducted on February 21 and February 28. First-time Minor or Major players must attend one tryout.

Both in-person registration dates will take place at their Clubhouse, located at 275 Westview Drive in Thurmont. The Thurmont Little League looks forward to seeing your player on the Little League ball fields.

Feel free to call 267-664-5059 with questions or email them at thurmontbaseball@hotmail.com. You can find them on Facebook at Thurmont Little League and on Twitter/Instagram at theTLLnetwork

Thurmont Little League is Gearing up for a New Season and Some Exciting Changes for 2015

Melissa Kinna

It may be cold outside, but that isn’t stopping Thurmont Little League (TLL) as they prepare for the upcoming 2015 Spring Season. Some exciting happenings taking place include a new logo; a new website that will be released soon; the extension of the league’s boundary to areas east; and new programs for coaches, umpires, and players. 

Thurmont Little League may be the name of the organization, however, Thurmont Little League is open to players within many communities in the region:  Thurmont, Emmitsburg, Sabillasville, Woodsboro, Rocky Ridge, Taneytown, and Union Bridge.

“Thurmont Little League and Little League International thrives by building virtues of character, courage, and loyalty to the community, which is why the board of directors here at TLL feel so strongly about the Little League mission and the benefits it provides to our servicing communities. By expanding our league’s boundary to the outlying communities, we are broadening the Little League virtues and exposing our players to those qualities with the intent to bettering the overall communities in our region. Our goal is to make these youth athletes successful on the field, but more importantly, successful off the field,” said Ed Lowry, president of Thurmont Little League.

Eager to start the 2015 season, board members are currently building new programs to include clinics for coaches and umpires. The league strongly encourages parents to become involved in the league and will now offer training to coaches and umpires to ensure a positive experience for both players and parents. 

This past fall season, the league was able to offer clinics focusing on outfield basics, infield basics, and hitting. The clinics were a success, players had fun, and it provided additional hands on experience.  Starting Saturday, January 17, 2015, the league will offer a five-week Winter Clinic to prepare players for the spring 2015 season. The registration is now open and ends Friday, January 16. The cost will be $40.00 for the entire five-week program. The clinic will run from 8:30-10:00 a.m. You may register for this winter session and for the spring 2015 season by visiting www.eteamz.com/thurmont/.

In an effort to raise money for the league, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant will host an In-Person Registration and a Dine-In, Help-Out event on Thursday, January 15, 2015. The league will be sharing tickets for the event on their Facebook page at facebook.com/ThurmontLittleLeague. When you present one of those tickets when dining at Mountain Gate Restaurant, Mountain Gate will donate ten percent of your bill to Thurmont Little League. 

“We encourage everyone in the community to go to our Facebook page and print out a ticket to support our league on January 15.  Throughout the years, Mountain Gate has supported the league, and we appreciate their continued support with this Dine-In, Help-Out event,” said Lowry. 

Opening day for Thurmont Little League will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Be sure to check out registration, which is now open for the 2015 spring season. Players can receive a $10.00 discount if they register before January 15. Visit www.eteamz.com/thurmont/for more details.

Spring 2015 Registration Opens for Catoctin Youth Lacrosse

Think you know about lacrosse? Think again! Anyone can play lacrosse—big or small, experienced player or a beginner. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two highly prized qualities in lacrosse. Long sprints up and down the field, with abrupt starts and stops, precision passes, and dodges are routine in both boys and girls lacrosse. Participants can learn to play at any age.

Teams are forming now for both boys and girls in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The Catoctin Youth Lacrosse is gearing up for another great season!

Registration is currently open online at www.catoctinlacrosse.com or you can register in person on the following dates and times: January 7—at Thurmont Elementary School, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.; January 14—at Lewistown Elementary School, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and January 28—at Thurmont Middle School, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Want to learn more? Be social with them on facebook.com/catoctinlacrosse or check out their new website at www.catoctinlacrosse.com. Questions? You can email them at cyalacrosse@gmail.com or call 240-342-6238. Come scoop it up with Catoctin Youth Lacrosse!

Catoctin Youth Lacrosse is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization, supporting the lacrosse-loving youth of Thurmont. They are here to enhance the positives of team sports for our youth while advancing the sport within our community. They are part of the Western Maryland Youth Lacrosse Conference and offer teams for ages U7-U15.

Save the Date for the 2015 Catoctin Duals Wrestling Tournament

The 2015 Catoctin Duals wrestling tournament is set to take place on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17, 2015, at Catoctin High School (CHS). Now in its nineteenth year, this annual local event promises plenty of wrestling action and excitement, as the defending Frederick County champion Cougars host a number of squads from several states.

The Cougars will showcase their largest freshman class of young wrestlers in four years, as well as several veteran grapplers and team leaders looking to make it into the record books as they battle some of the area’s top wrestling programs. Come out and support the state-wide nineteenth ranked CHS wrestling team as they continue the tradition of success of the past three years with twenty-five Frederick County place-winners, fifteen regional place-winners, and ten place-winners at the state level, including four state champions.

Doors open at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Concessions will be available both days and several vendors will be on site.

Head Coach Ryan Green and his staff would like to thank Catoctin High School, CHS Athletic Director Kevin McMullen, and the numerous committed parents and volunteers who unselfishly give their time behind the scenes, as well as the generous sponsors in our community who contribute to make this event possible. Thank you for your continued support of Catoctin High School wrestling.

Emmitsburg Baseball & Softball League Registration

Registration for spring baseball and softball with the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League will take place at the Vigilant Hose Company on West Main Street in Emmitsburg on Friday, January 16, from 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 17, from 9:00-noon; and Saturday,  January 31, from 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Call Tom Kelly at 301-252-4471 or email tmkelly744@comcast.net.