Two winners have been chosen by Boardman Community Baseball for the 2013 Chuck Schafer Memorial Scholarship. Recent Boardman graduates Ashlynn Wardle and Rocco Falleti were selected for the two $2,500 awards.
Wardle, the daughter of Tim and Deanna Wardle, spent nine years at BCB, played for the BHS softball team and played travel softball for the Ohio Blast and Cyclones Fastpitch.
"Coming back from a loss has taught me that even when things are looking down, there is hope for the future. Learning to accept a loss has helped me even more. I have learned that even if I do not always succeed as I planned and prepared for, there will be another chance for me to redeem myself," Wardle said in her scholarship essay.
Scholastically, she was involved in the Science Club, Latin Club, Art Club, and Humanities Club. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Art Honors Society.
She also worked with several youth groups and was president of the BHS Council for Exceptional Children. She will attend Bowling Green State University pursuing a degree in inclusive early childhood education in the hopes of becoming an early childhood special education teacher.
"After my games, I would often go watch Challenger baseball. Watching other kids conquer their disabilities was a great inspiration. These games are one of the many factors that inspired me to work with special needs kids," Wardle said.
Falleti plans to attend The Ohio State University to study English and hopes to continue to law school. The National Honor Society and Student Council member also participated in Key Club, Italian Club and Humanities Club. He served a sports editor of The Bugle and welcomed new students to Boardman High as part of the Link Crew.
Falleti, the son of Rocco and Patty Falleti, played baseball for 12 years at BCB and two years on the BHS team, where he also played football.
"As I prepare for the first phase of my adult life, the idea of becoming solely responsible for my choices is daunting. Nevertheless, the strong focus that Little League baseball had on hard work taught me to persevere," Falleti said in his winning essay. "My BCB coaches always assured me that practicing my craft would pay off in the end. Although they never promised that I would become the star of the team or that we would be state champions, they guaranteed that practicing my craft would pay off in the end."
His record of volunteerism supports the qualities that the scholarship's namesake possessed. Falleti worked with students at Market Street Elementary, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Robinwood Elementary and the school board levy committee.
"As a result of my time spent basking in the sun and rolling in the dirt at the Fields of Dreams, I have become a 'team player' in all aspects of my life. I approach my education, relationships, and hobbies with great humility. I am confident in the fact that whether I lead or follow, if I take on life with determination and a positive attitude, I will undoubtedly be successful and happy," he said.
The scholarship honors the memory of Chuck Schafer, the talented architect who designed the Fields of Dreams complex to cater to the children and 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. The scholarships will be award during a short ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday June 30.
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.