15 High School Seniors Receive 2024 Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball® Scholarships

In 1939, Carl E. Stotz founded Little League®, envisioning a game played by children and rooted in community. More than 80 years later, Mr. Stotz’s goal continues to be the driving force behind the world’s largest youth sports organization today and has helped turn Little Leaguers® into big-league role models around the world.

To honor Mr. Stotz and the game that has brought communities together all around the world, the Little League International Board of Directors established the Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball® Scholarship in 1994 to reward academic excellence of high school seniors throughout the community. Since it was first established, the scholarship program has provided 282 students with more than $260,500 in financial assistance toward higher education.

Each year, scholarships are awarded to male and female graduates from high schools throughout Lycoming County to perpetuate the memory of Little League’s founder and recognizing his commitment to the development of the young people in the community. All graduating seniors in the top 25% of their class who have demonstrated good citizenship and whose spirit exemplifies effort, determination, and persistence in attaining the goal of higher education, are eligible to apply.

Receiving the $750 are:

  • Kaitlyn Herman and Gage Martzall (Jersey Shore)
  • Emma Belcher and Steven Lingg (Loyalsock)
  • Angelica Schmidt and Owen Sherman (Montgomery)
  • Alexa Tira and Benjamin Foster (Montoursville)
  • Lacy Eckard and Ryan Hummer (Muncy)
  • EdenGrace Lukasiewicz (South Williamsport)
  • Liliana Grace and Jack Klingler (Williamsport)
  • Kayla Fabiano and Liam Turnbow (Hughesville)

Below are the 15 recipients of the 2024 Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarships, along with an excerpt from their application essay on “The importance of Little League Baseball to me.”

Kaitlyn Herman – Jersey Shore High School

Not only does Kaitlyn Herman work hard in the classroom, leading to her election as president of the National Honor Society, but she excels in her extracurriculars, as well. Carrying her love for softball from the Little League fields to the high school varsity softball fields, Miss Herman has held her spot as the starting catcher all four years of play, and previously volunteered as the middle school assistant coach. Off the field, Miss Herman is active in multiple clubs including Outdoor Club, Key Club, Pep Club, and the Red Cross Club, plus, she is the Treasurer of her class and has been a member of the student council for two years. In the fall, Miss Herman will attend Virginia Tech University where she plans to study Animal Sciences with a Pre-Vet concentration.

“Little League is a needed steppingstone in an athlete’s future. Much like a foundation that allows you to build a house on. In my opinion, Little League helps mold us into adulthood.”

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Emma Belcher – Loyalsock Township High School

A Distinguished Honors Student since ninth grade, Emma Belcher works hard to be her best in the classroom and her community. Outside of the classroom, Miss Belcher played a role in establishing the school’s first varsity female volleyball team, which she has played on for three years, and is a member of the Spanish Club, Student Government, and the Future Business Leaders of America. In the fall, Miss Belcher will be attending Michigan State University.

“In team sports, it is not just one person, but rather, everyone on the team working together to achieve one goal. Little League provides a multitude of lessons that contribute to life outside of sports. Teamwork, perseverance, good sportsmanship, and confidence are a just the tip of the iceberg.”

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Angelica Schmidt – Montgomery High School

A member of the National Honor Society, Angelica Schmidt is active in the classroom and her community. In school, Miss Schmidt is a member of the Student STRONG team, a group that helps amplify student voices, create school wide positivity, and addresses issues raised by students. Miss Schmidt has also played a key role in the school’s annual Mini-THON, helping with the fundraising efforts and organization of the event, and is an active member of the student council, planning events like blood drives and homecoming. In her four years of high school, Miss Schmidt also participated in at least one year in tennis, soccer, cross country, and both indoor and outdoor track and field. In her community, Miss Schmidt has served as a church volunteer for five years and started the organization, Always Falling Forward, with her sister, which runs an annual Christmas toy/gift drive for low-income families. In the fall, Miss Schmidt will attend Pennsylvania State University on a pre-medicine track.

“I’m thankful for how accessible this organization was to my family and families worldwide. Anyone can teach someone how to hit a ball, but not everyone can teach someone how to navigate through the “bases” of life and hit a homerun like Little League.”

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Alexa Tira – Montoursville High School

Ranked among the top 10 of her class, Alexa Tira has a long resume of academic achievements. A member of the National Honor Society since 2021, Miss Tira has made the academic Honor Roll since her first semester freshman year and is an honor society member in both Spanish and social studies. Outside of the classroom, Miss Tira is one of three executive officers for the Pennsylvania District of Key Club International, overseeing more than 200 Key Clubs across Pennsylvania. A varsity athlete since 2020, Miss Tira has spent four seasons running cross country, qualifying for Districts in both 2022 and 2023, plus three seasons running track and field, qualifying for Districts in 2023. In her community, Miss Tira works as a Student Nursing Assistant in the Geisinger Medical Center and has volunteered as an Election Day poll worker. In the fall, Miss Tira will attend the University of Maryland with plans to study government and politics on an international relations track.

“The community that Little League fosters was, is, and continues to be one of the most impactful spaces for the well-being and development of children worldwide.”

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Lacy Eckard – Muncy High School

Earning her school’s Good Recipient Award, it is no surprise to learn that Lacy Eckard’s resume is filled with extracurriculars, volunteerism throughout her community, and academic achievements. Miss Eckard is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Vice President of her graduating class, Vice President of the National Honors Society, and is a representative of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). When she is not playing field hockey or participating in track and field, she is continuing her lessons as a pianist. Miss Eckard’s volunteerism includes helping with Community Cleanup Day (and week) and Community Closet Day. In the fall, Miss Eckard will be attending Lycoming College.

“Little League truly is an amazing program that is able to bring the community together and foster young minds in a multitude of ways.”

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EdenGrace Lukasiewicz – South Williamsport High School

Though EdenGrace Lukasiewicz is graduating a year early, spending only three years in high school, she made each one count. An honors student since freshman year, Miss Lukasiewicz is the President of the National Honor Society, President of Key Club, and has been a member of the academic decathlon team since 2021. Outside of the classroom, Miss Lukasiewicz spends her time giving back to her classmates and to the community as a volunteer tutor, a member of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and the School Engagement Head Chair of South Williamsport’s annual Mini-THON. Other extracurriculars Miss Lukasiewicz fills her schedule with include track and field, Yearbook Club, and Bowling Club, plus, she has danced since 2009, earning the lead role of Clara in the 2023 performance of the Nutcracker Ballet. In the fall, Miss Lukasiewicz will be attending George Washington University.

“Since childhood, it has made a lasting impression on me. It has strengthened me to feel empowered to pursue my personal dreams going into college next semester. Little League has had such a wonderful impact on not only me, but also on the young generations today and it will continue to leave a legacy for future families and generations to come.”

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Liliana Cox – Williamsport High School

A member of the Red Cross club and the National Honors Society, Liliana Cox understands the importance of giving back to the community. Miss Cox’s volunteer work includes organizing a book donation drive with the James V. Brown Library, assisting with the children’s church at the City Alliance Church, and helping with events hosted at Cochran Primary School. A two-sport varsity athlete, Miss Cox is the captain of the volleyball team and a four-year member of the varsity softball team. Ranked in the top-15 of her class, Miss Cox is the secretary of her graduating class, has participated in accelerated courses, and completed the CTE Biotechnology program. In the fall, Liliana Cox will be attending the University of Pittsburgh with a plan to study biochemistry.

“Little League allows kids to not only have fun playing the game, but to experience winning and all that comes with it. It allows kids to strive for something bigger than themselves while socializing and growing as a person.”

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Kayla Fabiano – Hughesville High School

Ranked in the top-20 of her class, Kayla Fabiano is a member of the National Honors Society, Community Service Club, the AP Biology Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and she has participated in Future Business Leaders of America. A two-sport athlete, Miss Fabiano has wrestled and played soccer throughout her career and is a two-year member of Ski Club. Outside of the classroom and her extracurriculars, Miss Fabiano gives back to the community through her volunteerism with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, the East Lycoming Historical Society, and the Hughesville Public Library. Miss Fabiano also works as a care attendant with UPMC. In the fall, Miss Fabiano will be attending Florida Gulf Coast University.

“For some people, their way to connect with the community is through sports. Little League, for instance, is significant in the lives of many children because of how it develops their character.” 

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Gage Martzall – Jersey Shore High School

The captain of his high school varsity baseball team, Gage Martzall has found his place on the field. Lettering all four years of high school, Mr. Martzall was a District 4 Second-Team First Baseman and excels off the field, as well. Putting his skills in construction to the test, Mr. Martzall participated in the SkillsUSA competition at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. In his community, Mr. Martzall leads by example through his volunteerism with the Jersey Shore Care Closet and by helping those with disabilities in both gym class and construction courses. In the fall, Mr. Martzall will be attending Lock Haven University where he will continue his baseball career at the collegiate level.

“Little League was so important to my childhood and shaping my future… All kids deserve a chance to be a part of something, to have purpose, build friendships, and feel proud to represent their community as I have gotten to do.”

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Steven Lingg Loyalsock Township High School

Steven Lingg not only has spent the last four years working hard to grow as a varsity runner and exceptional student, but he has spent countless hours volunteering, too. Mr. Lingg has given back to his community through a variety of projects including work with the Habitat for Humanity of Lycoming County Faith Build, providing meals to those in need through the Trinity Episcopal Church, helping build the community garden, acting as support staff for funerals and holiday remembrance services for local funeral homes, and laying wreaths on veterans’ graves with Wreaths Across America. Mr. Lingg is a member of the National Honor Society, Interact Club, and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). He is also a four-year member of both the cross-country team and the track and field team. In the fall, Mr. Lingg will attend Pennsylvania State University.

“That’s the beauty of organizations like Little League. It teaches kids important lessons that will help them all throughout life and allows kids to find their love for sports. Little League has left a lasting impression on me and so many other kids to find their loves for sports.”

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Owen Sherman – Montgomery High School

Not only does Owen Sherman work hard to excel in the classroom, earning his role as Vice President in the National Honor Society, Captain of the Quiz Bowl team, and Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce Student of the Quarter, but he strives to give back to his community, as well. Since 2021, Mr. Sherman has volunteered as a counselor at Camp Invention, a STEM camp for elementary students, plus, at summer soccer camps for young athletes in the community. Finding his place on the soccer field, Mr. Sherman scored 50 goals while on the high school varsity team, was named captain for three seasons, and was the Williamsport Sun-Gazette Player of the Year 2023 Runner-Up. In the fall, Mr. Sherman will attend the University of Central Florida.

“In a world that has become increasingly digital, activities such as Little League are more important than ever for today’s youth. Working together towards a common goal, the overwhelming joys of victory and the utter despair of defeat, bonding over a shared passion for baseball – these are experiences that cannot, and will never, be replicated from a screen.”

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Benjamin Foster – Montoursville High School

Driven by his wide variety of interests, Benjamin Foster participates in multiple clubs and extracurriculars. Mr. Foster is a member of Astronomy Club, Environmental Club, Workout Club, Book Club, YoungLIfe, and he participated in Montoursville’s production of the musical “Freaky Friday.” In the classroom, Mr. Foster is just as active, which has been rewarded with inductions into more than one National Honors Society including Art, English, and Science. Mr. Foster will attend Grove City College in the fall.

“Little League is important to the childhood experience because the diamond is where kids can develop valuable traits like teamwork, character, sportsmanship, and especially their confident.”

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Ryan Hummer – Muncy High School

Ranked in the top five of his graduating class, Ryan Hummer is a member of the National Honor Society, has excelled in a number of accelerated courses throughout his four years, and was elected vice president of his class. A participant of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Mr. Hummer placed first in Broadcast Journalism at the 2022-2023 FBLA Leadership Conference just one year after he placed second in Introduction to Information Technology. Mr. Hummer also volunteers with the Muncy Mentor Program. In the fall, Mr. Hummer will be attending Pennsylvania State University.

“For many children, Little League Baseball is the first organized team sport that they will play, where they are able to experience camaraderie, and the importance of showing loyalty to your teammates through tough times. If someone makes an error or strikes out, they are still your teammate, and you encourage and support them.”

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Jack Klingler – Williamsport High School

Not only has Jack Klinger found success through music as a member of the Sinfonietta Orchestra, PMEA District and Regional Orchestras, and the Millionaire Strolling Strings, but he is also a runner for the varsity cross country team and track & field. Ranked in the top 20 of his class, Mr. Klinger is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club. Mr. Klinger’s volunteerism includes work with Daniel’s Closet Clothing Ministry and the Newberry Branch of the National Giving Alliance. In the fall, Mr. Klingler will be attending Millersville University with plans to study Interactive and Graphic Design.

“Young kids are encouraged and motivated to become good players, good students, and good citizens. In the end, if Little League teaches nothing else, it teaches everyone to play fair and to do your best. Those lessons can be carried far into one’s adolescence and adulthood.”

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Liam Turnbow – Hughesville High School

Ranked in the top three of his graduating class, Liam Turnbow has held a position in the student council for three years, was elected Vice President of the National Honors Society, and is a member of the scholastic scrimmage team. With his passion for music, Mr. Turnbow is a violinist and percussionist, previously playing as a member of the high school’s marching, concert, and jazz band, plus, the Williamsport Youth Symphony. In 2023, Mr. Turnbow was named the Young Artist Baroque Orchestra Concertmaster. For three years, Mr. Turnbow has held multiple titles with the Civil Air Patrol, including Element Leader, Flight Sergeant, First Sergeant, and Cadet Commander. Through the Civil Air Patrol, he has also participated in drills/ceremonies and educational courses in aerospace. Mr. Turnow’s volunteerism includes his time as a junior counselor for Camp Cadet, his work with the Big Brother Big Sister program, and his time helping his church with weekly services and vacation Bible school. In the fall, Mr. Turnbow will be attending Pennsylvania State University where he plans to study aerospace engineering.

“I believe that Little League is essential to everyone involved, and the lessons learned in Little League can be influential for the rest of one’s life.”

About the Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball® Scholarship

The scholarships perpetuate the memory of Little League’s founder, Carl E. Stotz, recognizing his commitment to the development of youth in Lycoming County. The year following his passing, in 1993, the Little League International Board of Directors established this scholarship program to recognize Mr. Stotz’s commitment to the local, Lycoming County community, and commemorate his vision in creating a community-based organization to provide a competitive, healthy outlet for children to learn the values of teamwork, dedication, and sportsmanship. The Stotz Scholarship recognizes high school seniors from Lycoming County school districts who excel in academics and citizenship. In order to be considered, a graduating senior must be in the top 25% 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 why Little League Baseball and Softball become so valued in communities around the world. Applications for the scholarship are generally accepted between December and March and are awarded based on the applications received.