Little League honors area seniors with the Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarship

When Carl E. Stotz founded Little League in 1939, he created a community-based organization to provide a competitive, healthy outlet for children to learn the values of teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship. As Little League celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014, Little League is again honoring the achievement of 10 students from the greater Williamsport area with the Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarship.

Beginning in 1993, the Stotz Scholarship recognizes high school seniors from Lycoming County school districts who excel in academics and citizenship.

These young men and women exemplify Stotz’s vision of creating an organization to help shape the lives of children and mold them into productive adults through sports. Since the Little League International board of directors established this scholarship program 20 years ago, more than $132,000 has been awarded to 162 students, including this year’s honorees.

The 10 recipients of the Stotz Scholarship, five male and five female, were honored at the annual luncheon held May 21, at Little League International in South Williamsport. This year, scholarship recipients received an increased total of $13,000 in scholarship funds, a $5,000 increase over last year’s total award. One male student and one female student each received a $2,500 scholarship, with the eight other finalists receiving $1,000. The scholarships perpetuate the memory of Little League’s founder, recognizing his commitment to the development of youth in Lycoming County.

From the 66 scholarship applicants this year, the recipients of the $2,500 scholarships are Crystal Good from Muncy High School and Mark Odorizzi from Loyalsock Township High School. Good will be attending Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, and Odorizzi will continue his education at Drexel University, Philadelphia. Good’s sister, Charity, was a 2013 recipient of the Stotz Scholarship, and Odorizzi’s sisters also received the Stotz Scholarship (Pamela in 2005 and Laura in 2006).

The other eight finalists receiving $1,000 scholarships include: Genevieve Beatty, Williamsport Area High School; Adam Campbell, Jersey Shore Area High School; Matthew Heinrich Jr., Hughesville High School; Emily Hoffman, Loyalsock Township High School, Jennifer Jackson, South Williamsport Area High School; Cameron Ott, Montoursville Area High School; Matthew Reinhart, Montgomery High Area School; Serena Sarch, Williamsport Area High School.

“Since the very inception of Little League, community support and involvement has helped make the organization what it is today,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League. “As Little League celebrates our 75th anniversary in thousands of communities around the world this year, this scholarship continues to memorialize the inspiring vision of Stotz to improve the lives of children, especially in his home of Williamsport. We are honored to showcase some of the best and brightest young men and women from our Lycoming County schools and remember the legacy of Carl Stotz.”

In order to be considered for the Stotz Scholarship, a graduating senior must be in the top 25 percent of their class at one of the nine Lycoming County high schools.

In addition to academics, the applications are reviewed on merits of good citizenship and whose spirit exemplifies effort, determination and persistence in attaining the goal of higher education.

Each interested senior submits two letters of recommendation and an essay on what they hope to achieve through higher education. Applications for the scholarship are generally accepted between December and March.