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The Big 30 Charities committee awarded its annual Don Raabe Memorial Scholarship to Smethport Area High School at Friday’s football game. Pictured are, front row (from left): Brice Benson (Smethport superintendent), Anna Steward (assistant principal), Amber Berlin (cheerleading advisor), Doug Dickerson (SAHS principal), Bob South (President, Big 30), Theresa Harris (senior class advisor), Rick Woodring (athletic director), Adam Jack (head football coach). Back row (all Big 30 committee members): Pat Warnick, Tim Piller, Rick Austin, Bill Funk, Max R. Simms, Warren Semmel). Photo by Barb Davis

BY JEFF UVEINO

SMETHPORT — Smethport Area High School was awarded the 2021 Don Raabe Memorial Scholarship at Friday’s home football game against Port Allegany.

The scholarship, awarded annually by the Big 30 Charities committee, is given based on recommendations from the coaches, cheerleading and homecoming advisors involved in the Big 30 football game.

“It’s our way of thanking Don Raabe for thinking of putting the game on,” said Bob South, the Big 30 committee’s president. “It was his idea, and he came to a bunch of us in the younger days, and we decided to do it. When he died, the committee decided that we wanted to continuously honor him each year. This was how we did it.”

The game features players, cheerleaders and homecoming queens from across the region. After the game and the two weeks of practice that precede it, coaches and advisors rate the group of participants from each school in three categories that they feel best shows off the game and its message.

Whichever school earns the highest score receives a $1,000 scholarship for a student in its rising senior class. Smethport won Pennsylvania’s scholarship, while Salamanca won New York’s.

Players Ryli Burritt, Braedon Johnson, Kameron Rounsville and Adenn Stevens were each impactful in PA’s 35-0 triumph over NY in this year’s game. They were joined by Smethport cheerleaders Kassidy DiDomizo, Cadence Gamet and Haley Snyder, as well as homecoming queen Chloe Costa.

South and members of the committee presented Friday’s award.

“They made us feel really glad that Smethport won this year’s award,” South said. “They made us feel very welcome, and they always do.”

A plaque, which was also awarded by the committee, will be displayed at the school in honor of the members of Smethport’s class of 2021 that earned the scholarship for a graduating senior from the class of 2022.

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