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Around Hancock

July 10, 2008|By ANNE WEATHERHOLT

All-Star success has town rallying around LL teams

Justin Barnard, age 11, plays first base for the Hancock All-Stars. This would not be that unusual except for the fact that in the last half century since Little League was started in Hancock, players have never made it to the state playoffs, let alone won the district. 

Justin played for the Nationals team in regular season, and his team ended 20-0.  He was chosen for the All-Star team which has just won the District Tournament, beating teams from Halfway, Conococheague and Valley. Twelve boys play on the Hancock Little League 9- and 10-year-old All-Star team that is on its way to the state championships July 19 to 25 in Waldorf, Md.

Parents have put their vacation plans "on hold," and the local Little League officers are scrambling to raise the funds necessary to pay for the trip.

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Parents who cannot get off work plan to commute as often as possible, even in the face of high gas prices, in order to support their sons.

To top this off, the Hancock Senior League team has also won its district, so both teams are in competition for higher honors.

Hancock has taken some hard hits in recent years with the closing of several local industries and the demise of many businesses along Main Street.

Sports teams from the local high school, one of the smallest in Maryland, often face defeat from schools twice and three times their size. Hancock sits on the edge of Appalachia with corresponding statistics for lower educational and economic levels and higher human needs.

The fact that this year's 9- and 10-year-old team has continued a winning streak is a high point for this small town, a bright spot in what has been a rough summer.

According to Matt Barnard, team parent and chair of the fundraising committee, Hancock Little League needs $15,000 to cover the cost of hotels and travel expenses for all the players from both teams.

Several fundraisers have been planned for the next few weeks, and the team is asking for the support of the larger community in Washington County so that they may represent the local talent in this statewide tournament.

There will be a car wash at the NAPA Auto Parts Store on Main Street in Hancock on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

A spaghetti and lasagna dinner is planned for Saturday afternoon/evening at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church Parish Hall, Church and High streets, from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets costs $7 and may be purchased from Debbie Cohill at 301-331-6605 or Carol Close at 301-678-5389.

Donations from businesses and individuals are welcome. Gifts may be sent to Hancock Little League c/o Matt Barnard, 1304 Sipes Mill Road, Warfordsburg, PA 17267. For more information, contact Ron Younker, league president, at 301-678-6504.

Photo club to meet

The Hancock area Photo Club wil meet Sunday at 2 p.m. at the St. Thomas' Episcopal Church Parish Hall. They will be discussing the recent photo contest and start making plans for next year's contest. For more information, contact Tracy Salvagno at 301-678-6173 or e-mail her at rsalvagno@comcast.net.

VBS planned

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church will hold its annual evening vacation Bible school Sunday through Thursday at the Parish Hall on East High Street.

Children of all ages and adults from the community are welcome to attend.

Sessions are from 7 to 9 p.m., and include music, crafts and a snack. The theme this year is "God's Big Backyard." The emphasis of the program is on service to others - your family, church and community.

For information and registration, call the church at 301-678-6569, e-mail StThomasHancock@aol.com.

Trading places

It seems that Boonsboro and Hancock are trading "players" in the schools.

Our band director, Micah Socks, will be moving to Boonsboro to direct its high school band program (lucky you, Boonsboro!), and we are getting Dave Mahaffey as our 10th football coach in school history (lucky us!). Mahaffey has been the athletic director at Boonsboro High.

Socks, who came to Hancock fresh from the acclaimed music department at Frostburg State University, has energized the band program and raised the bar of performance.

Even though small in number, the marching Panthers are mighty in music and have impressed local crowds with recent field shows.

This last year they were only a few points away from making it to the "regionals" in the Tournament of Bands program.

Socks wrote to the Band Boosters to say, "I have been asked to go to Boonsboro High School.  I was asked last year but decided the timing wasn't right.  However, we have moved to Hagerstown, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity twice.  I plan to be there to tell everyone in person on Tuesday (I won't cut and run.)  You have a very good director coming in from Northern Middle, Scott Benford.  Everything has been planned and organized for the show, and it should be a smooth transition.  He will be there on Tuesday as well.  I've told him we have an outstanding booster organization, and I've also passed your contact information along to him. I cannot begin to say how thankful I am for my time spent at Hancock. I will always remember great times here and wish the program continued growth and success."

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