New Adams State baseball scholarship goes to Salida player

(08-14-2012)

An outstanding Salida High School baseball player is the first recipient of the Steve Price & Gil Bustos Memorial Scholarship, awarded by Adams State University. Dillon Granzella recently signed with Adams State's baseball team, which takes to the diamond next spring after a 35-year hiatus.

The scholarship was created by Salida native Bill Mansheim, who is Adams State's vice president for Finance and Governmental Relations. The $1,000 annual award is open to graduates of high schools in Chaffee County and the San Luis Valley who are recruited to Adams State's baseball team. Price and Bustos, both deceased, were part of a very successful fast-pitch softball team Mansheim played on in his youth.

"I wanted to remember these friends, and help kids who have a dream," Mansheim said. "Playing sports with these guys and other friends were some of the best times of my life." He added that Price and Bustos were "sports fanatics" who never attended college. "I can't help but think that if Adam State had fielded a baseball team back then, some of us might have worked hard to get an opportunity to play ball in college."

Other donors to the endowment include KSPK Radio, The Valley Courier, Steph Chichester, and Michael Mumper.

Granzella, who started playing baseball at age 5, had a .532 batting average during his senior year and will play center field for the Grizzlies. The past few summers, Granzella played with the Denver club teams Colorado Chaos and Team Colorado. He plans to major in business administration - management.

"The scholarship will help a lot. My dad played fastpitch with these guys [Price and Bustos], and now I have the honor of representing them, their legacy," he said. "I decided to go to Adams State because I'm really excited about the new baseball program, the new training facilities, and the campus renovations that have been made. It's also very close to home."

Granzella was also awarded an Adams State merit scholarship, which awards between $500 and $1,500 to students with a 3.25 GPA or higher, and the Grizzly Partnership Scholarship, which awards up to $3,200 a year to students living on campus from the following counties: Alamosa, Archuleta, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties in Colorado; Taos and Rio Arriba Counties in New Mexico.

By Julie Waechter