James Buchanan High receives congressional baseball equipment

February 14, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., right, looks at a T-shirt given to him Monday by James Buchanan High School Athletic Director Larry Strawoet, left, at the Mercersburg, Pa., school. Franklin County Commissioner Robert Ziobrowski, center, also was present.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — James Buchanan High School’s baseball team had its first workouts of the season Monday and used equipment provided by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster.

Shuster, R-Pa., stopped by the school Monday morning to present equipment used in last year’s Congressional Baseball Game. Played at Nationals Park, the game pits Democrats against Republicans for charity.

The Democrats won in 2009 and 2010, Shuster said.

“Prior to that, we had an eight-year winning streak,” he said.

The equipment was donated by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Shuster, who picked James Buchanan High School based on need, said the bats, helmets and catcher’s shin guards were used in 12 practices and the game.

“I knew the good work going on down here at James Buchanan with your fund drive to raise money,” Shuster said of selecting the school because of Fix JB Sports.

Fix JB Sports is a community-driven fundraising campaign to make improvements to athletic facilities. Officials said they’ve received $840,000 in pledges and gifts toward their $2 million goal.

Athletic Director Larry Strawoet showed visitors improvements made to the locker rooms, pool and gymnasium. Fix JB Sports also contributed to the installation of a new all-weather track on the campus.

“The biggest visual difference is the track,” said Marianne Quinn, who is active in the Fix JB Sports committee.

“The thing I’m looking forward to is the tennis courts,” campaign chairwoman Mary-Anne Gordon said.

Shuster and high school Principal Rodney Benedick spoke briefly about their time playing baseball in high school.

“I’m sure they’ll make good use of it,” Benedick said of the equipment.

Coach Scott Folmar estimated the school received more than $500 in donated equipment.

Dylan Rhodes, a senior, said he’s looking forward to the upcoming baseball season.

“I just love it. I love playing the game,” Rhodes said.

The team’s equipment was starting to get worn out at the end of last season, he said.

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