Chuck Schafer Scholarship winners
BOARDMAN, June 28, 2017 — Citing a network of support they have received from the area baseball community, Ashley Cornelius and John Ryan have been awarded the 2017 Chuck Schafer scholarships from Boardman Community Baseball.
The winners will be honored and receive their checks for $2,500 during the 14th annual Chuck Schafer Scholarship Tournament July 1-3 at the Fields of Dreams on McClurg Road in Boardman.
“My teammates became my sisters, and a bond was created that I cannot find anywhere else,” said Cornelius, a 2017 graduate of Boardman High School who will attend Grove City College and play softball.
Ryan noted in his winning essay, “I learned from a young age that family and the people surrounding yourself shape your ideas. Whether there was events to help people in our community, or getting to know some amazing people; I've learned that Boardman Community Baseball is so much more than an organization, it is a family.”
Cornelius especially noted that BCB coaches inspired and believed in her, leading her on a path to her future.
“I would love to be able to give back the knowledge that I have received from my coaches to other girls eager to learn the game of softball. If it had not been for my amazing coaches at Boardman Community Baseball, I would have never discovered how much I want to be a coach, myself,” she said.
In addition to softball, Cornelius ran cross country for three years and was a four-year member of the Boardman Symphony and Chamber orchestras. She ended her high school career with a 3.845 GPA.
Ryan, who earned a 3.85 GPA at Boardman High and plans to study finance at Youngstown State University, also played four years of high school football and basketball, serving as team captain as a senior. He also served on student government, was a member of the Latin and Spanish clubs, Spirit Crew and National Honor Society. His record of service includes everything from volunteering as a football referee to supporting local street clean-ups and packing food for the Salvation Army.
Cornelius is heavily involved in Boardman United Methodist Church as a Sunday School aide, liturgist and musician. She was a four-year letter winner in softball, three times earned the BW3 Player of the Week and was awarded the Ohio High School Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar Athlete Award. In her educational endeavors, Cornelius was a member of National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society as well as Emerging Leaders and Big Spartan Little Spartan.
“When I first stepped onto the field at eight years old, I fell in love with the sport. I told myself that I was going to play high school softball, then make my way onto college softball. I worked extremely hard, and made the high school team, as I planned. Through more work and dedication, I can say that I have achieved my ultimate goal, as I am going to play college softball next year. Had it not been for my beginnings at Boardman Community Baseball, I truly do not believe I would be where I am today,” she said.
Ryan noted, “Little League teaches many lessons within the game of baseball. You learn to appreciate the your friendships and make new relationships with others. You understand to work together with a team and follow your coach's orders. It teaches our youth on the importance of respect and cooperation. Little League ties our whole nation together and serves as a bridge between the youth and adults of communities.”
The Schafer family recognizes Boardman's commitment to future of its children with the annual scholarship honoring the memory of Chuck Schafer, the talented architect who designed the Fields of Dreams complex to cater to the families who love Little League baseball as he did. Boardman Community Baseball holds the Chuck Schafer Memorial baseball and softball tournament each year to raise money for the scholarship fund.
Applications for the scholarship are accepted through the spring each year. Eligible students must have participated in BCB for at least five years and be a senior with at least a 2.75 GPA. Additional information can be found at www.boardmanbaseball.com.