SOUTH FORSYTH -- A south Forsyth youth sports association will award former players with college scholarships.
Now through Nov. 30, the Sharon Springs Athletic Association will accept applications from former youth baseball and softball players for the inaugural Mike Mangum and Kevin Neenan Memorial Baseball and Softball College Scholarship Program, which will be two $1,000 scholarships.
“We’ve been lucky enough over the years to have really good fundraising, and we had a lot of great donations,” said Dana Petrin, president of the association. “We wanted a way to give back to the community, and what better way than to give back to the youth to help them get through their next stage in life.”
Petrin said in addition to highlighting players, members of the association’s board also wanted to memorialize the scholarships’ namesakes, a pair of former coaches at the park.
“Both of those gentlemen were coaches at one point in time at Sharon Springs Park and they unfortunately passed away … during their stint in the park,” he said. “We reached out to those families and asked permission to name the scholarships in honor of them, and, of course, the families were more than willing to let us do that.”
The scholarship is open to high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited two- or four-year college and played at least one season at the park. Other considerations like numbers of seasons played and school, community and athletic involvement will be considered by a selection committee.
Scholarships will be awarded to the top two applicants, not necessarily one each for former baseball and softball players.
The application will also feature an essay component.
“We want them to talk about the experience and what it means to have played out of our parks over the years, if it had any influence on their decision; maybe they’ve decided to play baseball or softball in college,” Petrin said. “We just want to know what kind of impact the coaches and the association and just playing sports made to them.”
Winners will be announced on Jan. 16, 2017.
Though only in its first year, Petrin said he hopes the scholarship will continue.