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By Greg Talkington
(August 18, 1998) Michael Stumpo, co-Harrison County athlete of the year, is headed to Garrett County Junior College.
Stumpo, an all-state shortstop who also was a three-year starter in American Legion baseball, sees the western Maryland college as a step toward another goal.
"My dream has always been to play Division I baseball," Stumpo said. "Going to Garrett is the best route for me to achieve that goal because it gives me the opportunity to play 90 or 100 games this year and get better.
"Hopefully I can do this like Chris Swaney and some of the others have."
Former Harrison County infielders Benny Shreve and Chris Swaney went to Garrett before playing at West Virginia University.
Stumpo received attention from Kent and Marshall and was pursued by several West Virginia Conference schools. He also considered walking on at WVU.
Garrett plays a 40-game fall schedule and 60 games in the spring. Stumpo said Garrett coach Ed Wildeson plans to play him as a middle infielder.
"He told me that he has a shortstop coming back, but that second base is open," Stumpo said.
"He might move the returning player to second or I might play there. That's up in the air as of now."
At 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Stumpo showed surprising power last season, homering nine times, driving in 26 runs and averaging .357.
He also had five doubles, 10 steals, 34 runs and 22 walks.
"He has all the skills to excel at a higher level," Bridgeport coach Robert Shields said.
"He can hit, hit for power, has soft hands and a strong arm.
"Plus he's an intelligent kid who plays with smarts," Shields commented.
Stumpo also excelled in football and basketball during his prep career, amassing an impressive 11 varsity letters.
Stumpo is planning for a career in engineering. He attended Boys State last summer and carried a 3.5 gradepoint average in high school.