More than 80 years ago, Carl E. Stotz envisioned a game played by children and rooted in community when he founded Little League® in 1939, a goal that continues to be the driving force behind the world’s largest youth sports organization today and has led to the development of millions of role models around the world.
With that focus in mind, and to honor Mr. Stotz, 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 269 Lycoming County students with more than $250,850 in financial assistance toward higher education.
Scholarships totaling $12,000 are awarded annually to male and female graduates of Lycoming County high schools, to perpetuate the memory of Little League’s founder and recognizing his commitment to the development of the young people of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. 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 $750 each are:
- Carter Cowburn and Cedar MucCusker (Hughesville High School)
- Luke Springman and Breanna Corlew (Jersey Shore Area Senior High School)
- Luke O’Brien and Emma Strickland (Loyalsock Township High School)
- Westin Pick and Samantha Goyer (Montgomery Area Junior/Senior High School)
- Matthew Conklin and Hanna Klotz (Montoursville High School)
- Benjamin Manning and Hannah Boyles (South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School)
- Benjamin Manetta and Aubrianna Blair (Williamsport Area High School)
- Alaina Brelsford (Muncy Senior High School)
- Lily Reed (St. John Neumann Regional Academy)
“Community has always been a cornerstone of the Little League program, starting when Carl E. Stotz created an opportunity and answered a need, and we are proud to honor his legacy throughout our own community with this scholarship program,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Each year, the achievements of top high school students from around our area are recognized with the presentation of these scholarships and it is our pleasure to acknowledge the efforts of these 16 recipients and honor their accomplishments.”
Below are each of the 16 recipients of the 2023 Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarships, along with an excerpt from their application essay on “The importance of Little League Baseball to me.”
Cedar McCusker – Hughesville High School
An honors student since the ninth grade, Ms. McCusker recognizes the importance of contributing to her community. As a member of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), Student Council, and National Honor Society among several other club activities, Ms. McCusker has experienced the values that come from connecting with people. Four years on the HHS Spartans track team and soccer team have taught lessons about how working together for a common goal has reinforced the life skills that will pay dividends in the future. She will be attending the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.
“I think Little League is so important to the youth because it brings them a sense of community and fun and a place to laugh and relax.”
Breanna Corlew – Jersey Shore Area Senior High School
Interest in public service has helped Ms. Corlew to excel. Three years on the Youth Development Task Force and five years with the Mock Constitutional Convention (earning the Superior Delegate award), along with seats on different Honor Societies and 13 years as a Girl Scout, has shown Ms. Corlew’s willingness to expand her personal boundaries and contribute. She will be attending West Chester University in the fall.
“The community that Little League provides is incredible, and I believe every child could benefit from it. My experiences with Little League have always been positive, and it made me want to help give back to the community that has always supported me.”
Emma Strickland – Loyalsock Township High School
Ranked top five in her class, Ms. Strickland has mixed academics and athletics, learning lasting lessons from both. Leading as a mentor working in the Loyalsock Tutoring Program and as a member of the Odyssey of the Mind team that finished second in the world in 2019, Ms. Strickland has shown the willingness and ability to lead by example. She will be attending the University of South Carolina Honors College in the fall.
“Little League encourages active lifestyles and healthy habits which are instrumental to a children’s growth and development. While it can get competitive, the focus is genuinely on kids having fun.”
Samantha Guyer – Montgomery Area Junior/Senior High School
Ms. Guyer was a member of the distinguished honor roll for each of her four high school years. A member of the marching band and concert band, drama club, and Student Council, Ms. Guyer has received accolades for each of these activities, while achieving a top-10 class rank. Ms. Guyer was also a member of the Red Raiders varsity tennis team for three seasons. She will be attending Messiah University in the fall.
“It is important for kids to play in Little League, as you can learn so much from coaches, the staff, and from the game. Often, you can tell who played Little League as a child due to the respect they gained through this organization.”
Hannah Klotz – Montoursville High School
As 2023 Class President and varsity softball team captain, Ms. Klotz has strived to make the most of opportunities and has sought out various educational and social experiences. Such broad exposure, including several years in the Little League program, has helped her establish and achieve goals. She will be attending St. Peter’s University in the fall.
“I never could have become the person I am today without the help of Little league. It was my first sports experience and my first opportunity to become a leader.”
Alaina Brelsford – Muncy Senior High School
Top of her class, Class President, and National Honor Society member, are among the notable accomplishments for Ms. Brelsford. She is also an accomplished athlete, earning varsity letters in softball and field hockey. This combination of academic achievement and athletic prowess has helped Mrs. Brelsford to be recognized by the Williamsport Chamber of Commerce as 2023 Student of the Year and receive the 2022 College Board National Recognition Program Award. She will be attending Duquesne University in the fall.
“In addition to the childhood experience of playing on a Little League team, players get to witness volunteerism at its best. I would think that as players mature and move onto bigger things, they will reflect back and appreciate all those that made the experience possible and strive to pay it forward.”
Aubrianna Blair – Williamsport Area High School
An honors student in Civics and Government, Algebra, Geometry, and other mathematic disciplines, Ms. Blair has achieved placement on the high honor and distinguished honor roll, setting her sites on health, anatomy, and physiology as she pursues higher education. Ms. Blair is a two-time All-PIAA second team shortstop, a two-time qualifier for district orchestra, and captain of the Williamsport Strolling Strings concert group. She will be attending either Mansfield University or Lycoming College in the fall.
“I drew my motivation from those who were in my life – my grandparents, my coaches, and the friends Little League provided. Even now, though I am no longer eligible to participate in Little league as a player, I enjoy returning to the community to volunteer in whatever way I can.”
Hannah Boyles – South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School
Understanding volunteerism and what it means to serve the community is what Ms. Boyles has done throughout her scholastic career. Drawing from experiences with the South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School Marching Band, Concert Band, KindnessRocks Club, along with Mental Health Committee and National Honor Society, Ms. Boyles has prepared herself to achieve success through contributions that help others. She will be attending Wilson College in the fall.
“What is unique about Little League is that it brings kids from all over the world together. It shows them the differences of people and how to work alongside them. Showing kids other cultures help them better understand the world around them.”
Lily Reid – St. John Neumann Regional Academy
Earning the distinction as Valedictorian, Ms. Reid has assembled a collection of personal achievements and civic contributions. Time donated to the Key Club, Be A Force for Good Club, and SADD Club are balanced by her time as a member of the National Honor Society, Art Honor Society, and Student Council. Ms. Reid also spent her time around the athletic field, playing soccer, varsity basketball, and varsity softball. She will be attending Penn State Altoona in the fall.
“Little League gives kids experiences that will never be forgotten and hope for their dreams. Dreams do not work unless you do. That is what kids exemplify.”
Carter Cowburn – Hughesville High School
A member of the National Honor Society, and multisport athlete, Mr. Cowburn has shown to be dedicated to his studies and teammates. A team captain for the Spartans’ baseball and basketball teams, Mr. Cowburn was a First-Team Heartland Athletic Conference Division 3 basketball all-star selection. He also has supported the Hughesville chapter of the Rotary Club, Ashkar Elementary School’s Big Buddy program, and served as vice president of the Ski Club. He will be attending Manhattan College in the fall on a baseball scholarship.
“Without experiences I got from Little League, I would be less prepared for my future in baseball and in life. I developed discipline, perseverance, and courage. I learned that putting in the work brings positive results.”
Luke Springman – Jersey Shore Area Senior High School
A success on the football field as a member of three District Four AAA championship teams, Mr. Springman has come to understand what it is to mentor and assume the mantle of leadership. Academically, he is a member of the National Honor Society, been recognized on the Distinguished Honor Roll, served two years as class vice president and one year as class president. Within the Jersey Shore community, Mr. Springman has volunteered at the food bank, placed flags and wreaths on the headstones of fallen veterans, and donated time supporting the Boy Scouts of America. He will be attending Penn State University in the fall.
“Little League provides children with the opportunity to develop physical skills and stay active. In today’s world where sedentary lifestyles are becoming increasingly prevalent, it is more important than ever to encourage children to engage in physical activities.”
Weston Pick – Montgomery Area Junior/Senior High School
Top 10 in his class and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), Mr. Pick has developed a solid drive to succeed that has also been influenced by his athletic accomplishments. A four-sport athlete, while achieving high honor roll status for 12 semesters, Mr. Pick is an all-state football player and captain of the Red Raiders football team, and member of the varsity wrestling, basketball, and track and field teams. He will be attending St. Francis University in the fall.
“The moments in a Little Leaguer’s development are part of the foundation that supports the ‘house’ that we consider a healthy adult life. I know for sure that I would not be the person I am today without the lessons learned playing Little League.”
Matthew Conklin – Montoursville High School
Well-rounded experiences have rewarded Mr. Conklin. He is a member of the National English, Art, and Math Honors Societies, Key Club (distinguished), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA-state qualifier) and a standout in football (Geisinger/UPMC All-Star Game selection), basketball (team captain), and baseball. He was a member of the Mr. Montour Court and received recognition from the Warrensville Lions Club for academic achievement. He will be attending Penn State University in the fall.
“Little Leaguers around the globe are given the tools of success by playing the game. Hard work, volunteering, teamwork, and character are a few of the life lessons that are so important to teach children.”
Benjamin Manning – South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School
Ranked third in his class. Mr. Manning has been a member of the National Honor Society and Renaissance Team for several years. His community activities include volunteering with the Mini-Thon Club, Wreaths Across America, and coaching and officiating youth basketball. His extracurricular activities include varsity soccer and basketball, serving as team captain for both teams during his junior and senior seasons. He will be attending Penn State University in the fall.
“Little League is not just a sports program. It is a loving community, a smiling atmosphere, and place of learning for everyone.”
Benjamin Manetta – Williamsport Area High School
Ranked No. 1 in his class of nearly 400 students, Mr. Manetta is a National Merit finalist, the 2023 Lycoming County Outstanding Student of the Year, a National Honor Society member, four-year member of the Distinguished Honor roll, recipient of the C. Alex Rauch Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, and an AP Scholar with Distinction Award recipient. Among his musical and theatrical activities are four years with the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra and three years with the Williamsport High School Strolling Strings. He will be attending Harvard University in the fall.
“Little League is not just a game. It is an educational experience. As we look to the future, the lessons of humility, respect, and responsibility outline the qualities of a future generation of problem-solvers.”
Luke O’Brien – Loyalsock Township High School
As 2023 Class President and National Honor Society member while serving as a tutor for middle school students, Mr. O’Brien has a solid understanding of leadership skills. Whether playing guitar and singing with the Uptown Music Collective or interning as a research assistant with the Thomas T. Taber Museum, Mr. O’Brien has shown a consistent willingness to broaden his experiences by volunteering and contributing to the community. He will be attending Cornell University in the fall.
“Little League provides kids with an opportunity to have fun. The kind of fun that sticks with you years down the road, in the balls and mitts and trophies resting on dressers, and in the memories created while running the bases of this most important game.”
In addition to the scholarship, each of the 16 recipients will also be invited to be recognized during the Little League Baseball World Series in August, with an on-field ceremony prior to the start of the 7 p.m. game on Friday, August 18, 2023.
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.