SUMMER IS a great time for baseball games. This summer, Bill Schweinsberg, a high school senior and Taneytown resident, will play in one of the greatest games of his baseball career.
Bill is heading to Munich, Germany, to play in the annual Apeldoom Baseball Series. He is one of a handful of players from across the country, including four from Maryland, who made the Coast to Coast Amateur Baseball Stars team, which will represent the United States in the tournament.
Coast to Coast is a national baseball and youth-development program based in Marietta, Ohio. Each year the organization holds tryouts for those who want to represent the United States during the Apeldoom tournament. This summer, 14 countries will compete, including the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
"I'm really happy about it," Bill said. "I can't wait to go."
According to Kevin Ritter, Coast to Coast's executive program director, 75 boys are involved in the program nationally. However, only 14 made the roster to go to the tournament.
"Bill was one of the 14," Ritter said.
Bill's baseball love goes back a long way. He started playing as a 5-year-old and never quit. Most recently, he played on the Westminster High School varsity team with a .333 batting average. He also played for the West Carroll Eagles, a travel team. His favorite positions are third base and catcher.
Bill said his participation in the tournament started when he and his brother, Patrick, received a letter about the tryouts, which were held at Towson University in November.
His brother received a plain white envelope saying his efforts were appreciated but he did not make the team. Bill heard nothing.
"When I didn't hear anything then, I kind of figured I had made it," he said.
Two weeks later he received a packet with details, including the cost, which will be more than $4,000.
Bill's mom, Pat Schweinsberg, said she is thrilled for her son.
"He's a good ball player," she said. "He's worked hard."
Getting on the team is the first step. He is trying to line up sponsors to help pay for the cost. Besides working at a Taneytown gas station, Bill is sending letters to businesses asking for support. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Taneytown, where Bill is a member of the youth group, will hold a spaghetti dinner and bake sale. The proceeds will go to help Bill fulfill his dream.
Bill said he loves English and hopes to attend University of South Carolina or UCLA.
Anyone interested in helping sponsor Bill may call 410-751-1624.
Music major hits high notes
Francis Scott Key High School senior Amanda Woolman has been accepted at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The university has an excellent reputation as a good school for music, according to Charles Berry, Key's band director.
Amanda first competed for and earned a spot at Duquesne University School of Music in Pittsburgh. Admission to such a prestigious school is tough competition.
"Duquesne was always my first choice," Amanda said.
But the school did not offer her a scholarship. At University of North Carolina, she will receive a $30,000 scholarship.
Amanda has played musical instruments since she was in third grade, including flute, bassoon and, most recently oboe. Her mother also played flute. But being a musician wasn't always her first dream.
"I wanted to be an astronaut," she said. "Then I wanted to be a chef."
But she is satisfied with doing something she loves.
"It is so satisfying to know you do something well," she said. "I love hearing people come up to me and saying that your music makes them feel better."
Amanda said she hopes to play for a symphony orchestra, although she realizes how tough the competition is.
"When a position opens up [in a symphony orchestra], you may have 300 people trying out for the position. You have to start with smaller orchestras and work your way up," she said.
Locks of Love
Taneytown resident Dawn Baird did more than get a trim. Baird had 10 inches of her hair cut off for a cousin who has cancer.
Cancer patients might need wigs because they often lose their hair during chemotherapy treatment.
Baird said she and her cousin Sharon Price were talking recently about the cost of wigs, which can be as high as $200.
"But she told me that if people donated their hair, she could get the wig for free or for very little cost." That prompted Baird to cut off her long locks. The locks were sent to Locks of Love, a wig company based in Texas.
Baird's father died of cancer when she was 17. "He had had cancer for 14 years," she said.
Baird said she was happy to donate her hair and plans to do it again when her locks grow out. Information: 410-756-4241.
Dance and drama groups
Uniontown United Methodist Church is forming dance, drama and writing groups. The liturgical dance group will meet at 9:30 a.m. every Saturday at the church, 3405 Uniontown Road.
The drama group will meet at 7 p.m. every Friday, also at the church. The writing group is open to anyone age 15 and older. Details on that group are being worked out.
Information: Holly Slaugh at 410-751-8822.
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.