When he was a little kid, Matt Attig liked to build things.
As he grew out of childhood and into his teenage years, Attig never lost his interest in construction.
Today, he's a freshman at Penn State majoring in civil and environmental engineering.
Attig entered college following an impressive high school career at Dallastown in which he compiled a 3.85 grade-point average.
A scholar-athlete, Attig earned three varsity letters in both swimming and baseball, in addition to being a member of the marching band and the National Honor Society.
Attig also played on the Dallastown American Legion Post 605 baseball team during the past four summers.
He capped his Legion career by earning three college scholarships.
Attig's academic and athletic achievements earned him scholarships on the local (York-Adams American Legion League), state and national levels.
He was named to the prestigious All-Academic Team, which is made up of American Legion players from throughout the nation.
Attig was selected captain of the nine-member team and earned a $5,000 college scholarship.
Winning the national honor left Attig speechless for a while.
"I honestly could not believe it," he said. "I never contemplated that ever happening. It was such a great honor to be awarded that scholarship."
Attig was in between classes on Monday when he spoke with The York Dispatch.
He's carrying a full load this semester with 17 credits: four three-credit courses, one four-credit course and a freshman seminar.
"I live on the same floor with science and engineering majors, and everyone is carrying as many courses," Attig said. "In high school, you go there in the morning and spend the whole day there. Here, a little of your time is actually spent in the classroom. A lot of your work and learning, you have to get done outside the classroom. You have to manage that (getting the work done) and still have time for fun."
Attig makes time for fun.
"There's an intramural building across from our dorm, and I play a lot of volleyball and basketball. I'm also part of a baseball club and the biology club," he said.
The baseball club team is playing an 8-10-week schedule this fall.
"The end process is you get to try out to be selected to play on a Division I or Division II team," Attig said. "Another option could be to try out for the varsity team, and hopefully, I'll certainly be able to pursue that."
Penn State turned out to be Attig's final college choice, but not before he checked out other schools.
"I looked at Delaware, Bucknell and Lehigh," he said. "Penn State is known for producing engineers, and both my parents graduated from here, and two of my uncles graduated from here. I enjoyed the smaller campuses (at Delaware, Bucknell and Lehigh), but here, although it's a bigger campus, I can walk to town in 10 minutes. Penn State felt so much like home to me."
Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-5407.