Boardman Community Baseball annually chooses two students to receive $2,500 scholarships toward tuition at the college of their choice. Awarded in memory of Chuck Schafer, who designed the Fields of Dreams complex, the committee has chosen two softball players for this year's awards.
Scholarship winner Alexandria DeFabio recently graduated from Boardman High School with a 3.94 GPA. She spent 13 years in BCB's softball program while also playing varsity basketball for three years, varsity softball and varsity golf at BHS. She also served as a student-athlete representative for the Federal League Exchange program.
Academically, Alex was a member of the Link Crew, National Honor Society, Latin Club, Spanish Club, Science Club, Interact Club and Key Club, among others. She participated in service clubs, working with the St. Luke youth group and renewal team, assisting with Hospice gift wrapping at the holidays, and cooking for Main Meal Ministries.
The daughter of Ron (Kim) DeFabio and Tracie Cancel, Alex intends to pursue a degree in pre-medicine in the hopes of becoming a surgeon.
“I had the privilege of representing Boardman, Ohio and the Central United States in the softball world series. That experience showed me that when a community comes together, the possibilities of what they can achieve are endless,” she said in her winning essay. “Thanks to Boardman Community Baseball I am service-oriented and very aware that in order to receive things in life, you have to give back to those who helped you along the way.”
Gianna Marinucci, daughter of Marco and Janie Marinucci, recently graduated from Boardman with a 3.99 GPA and will take her scholarship money to The Ohio State University to study biomedical engineering.
A 12-year player in BCB, Gianna was a four-year member of student council and the Spartan marching band, belonged to the Humanities Club, National Honor Society, Italian National Honor Society and the Medical Careers Club. She was also chosen as the Boardman representative to both the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership seminar and Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley.
A member of St. Charles Church, Gianna was a senior team member who ministered to the junior class. She was a volunteer coach for the Little Lady Spartans fall ball program and was a server at the annual Boardman Rotary pancake breakfast.
In her application essay, Gianna remarked, “Softball is like a company; there are people that specialize in certain areas and are really good at specific tasks, but every person is needed for the company to succeed... Growing up playing softball and having to work together as a team, I saw first hand how to pick people up when they're down, and work with people of different personalities. From the beginning, my experiences at BCB prepared me for the future.”
The Chuck Schafer Memorial Scholarship is named for the experienced architect who designed the Fields of Dreams on McClurg Road, home to Boardman Community Baseball. Schafer's love for children and passion for Little League baseball led him to design the complex with spectators in mind and spend countless hours volunteering for BCB. The league raises money for the annual scholarship by hosting a baseball and softball tournament being held June 29 through July 1.
Scholarship applications are accepted through the spring each year. Eligible students include high school seniors who has at least a 2.75 GPA and have participated in a BCB baseball or softball program for at least five years. Applications and information can be found at www.boardmanbaseball.com.