The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Williston Baseball Plays for a Great Cause


On Friday, April 26, Williston Varsity Baseball played a game close to their hearts.

For the second straight year, Williston Baseball hosted a game in honor of Maddie Schmidt, who passed away in 2022, to raise funds and awareness for DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a rare form of childhood brain cancer.

According to, “DIPG cancer primarily affects children, with most diagnoses occurring between five and seven years of age. It makes up 10-15% of all brain tumors in children, with about 150-300 new diagnoses per year in the United States. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of children survive two years from diagnosis,” the website explains.
The team beat Pomfret 12-3, with a strong pitching performance from Shaun McMillan ’24, as well as homeruns from Colin Larson ’24 and James Elliott ’24. They wore special teal and purple uniforms to honor Maddie, the cousin of team member Brendan Capshaw, and other children fighting a battle against DIPG.

Other events the “Magic for Maddie” charity has hosted include 5Ks, carnivals, and 3 v. 3 basketball tournaments. The charity has also built a playground in Southampton and given a $2,500 scholarship to a graduating senior at Hampshire Regional High School.

Hudson Fulcher-Melendy, a senior from Easthampton and captain of the baseball team, believes the game is extremely important due to his personal connection to Brendan and former teammate Connor Capshaw ’23, Brendan’s brother.

Hudson also pointed out the chance the game provides to get members of campus involved in a great cause.
“It’s also a great opportunity to raise money and rally the community around something really important,” he said.
Brendan Capshaw, a junior from Southampton and Maddie’s cousin, thinks that the game helps show people who Maddie was as a person.

“Maddie loved competition and watching her brothers play ball, so the game displays her bright personality well,” he said.

Brendan’s cousins, Maddie’s brothers, Will and Patrick Schmidt, threw the first pitch, which, according to Brendan, “mean[t] so much more than the actual game” for him and his family.

He credits Williston, particularly Head Coach Matt Sawyer, for supporting him and his family as they went through such a hard time, as well as continuing to fight for kids facing DIPG now.

“Williston was amazingly helpful for my brother, sister, and I throughout the entire year that Maddie fought and to be able to put that support into an event like that game is incredible,” he said. “We’re so thankful for Coach Sawyer, who has set up these games and been there for us throughout these last few years.”

Matt Sawyer, Head Varsity Baseball Coach, gives credit to the Capshaw and Schmidt families for their hard work in setting up the game, and thinks it was a huge success.

“I give all props to the Capshaws for the cookout,” he said. “I think it’s something that Maddie would’ve appreciated, and it made it very festive. It also went great because we decided to do it on a Friday, mostly because we figured other teams wouldn’t be playing, but it ended up being that with the softball game going on at the same time, lots of students showed up and supported a great cause.”

Brendan is especially proud that he, his teammates, and the whole school community were able to make a difference.
“Seeing people making donations to ‘Magic for Maddie’ that will soon help people pay for doctor’s visits for their kids with brain cancer and fund children’s cancer research means so much to me because we know how hard times like that are,” he said.

Sawyer also appreciates the opportunity to contribute to a great cause.

“It felt like a way to bring the team and community together for someone really special,” he said.

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