Marsh Leads NY in Big 30 Classic
With high school football season just over a month away, the area's top football players (along with cheerleaders and homecoming queens) from last season have one last showcase for the fans, as they will head to Parkway Field in Bradford to play in the Don Raabe Big 30 Charities Classic August 1 at 7 p.m.
The classic, now in its 36th year, provides recent New York and Pennsylvania high school graduates a final chance to play the game they love in an 'All-Star Game' type format against one another before they head to college, where some of them will continue their football careers while others will not.
"For some guys, this will be the last game they ever play," New York coach Jason Marsh of Salamanca said. "Some guys will be moving on and playing college ball, but for some of them this is the last time they may ever play organized football, so it means a lot to some of them; one last time to play high school football."
All the players in the game on both sides graduated from their respective schools in June. The 'Big 30' title comes from the areas from which the players come - the now 31 high schools in New York and Pennsylvania that make up the Big 30 area, a notation given to the relative coverage area of The Olean Times Herald.
The New York team is comprised of 41 total players from Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties: Allegany-Limestone (5), Archbishop Walsh (4), Bolivar-Richburg (3), Cattaraugus-Little Valley (3), Cuba-Rushford (2), Ellicottville (3), Franklinville (3), Gowanda (1), Hinsdale (3), Olean (1), Portville (4), Randolph (1), Salamanca (4), Wellsville (3) and West Valley (1).
Marsh has four of his personal players in the game - QB/DB Derek Whitcomb, RB/LB Adam Jacobs, G/LB Chris Myers and C/DE Stephen Jacobson - and Marsh had nothing but kind words to say about those four in addition to the players from the other schools.
The Pennsylvania team is comprised of 41 players from Warren, McKean, Cameron, Potter and Elk Counties: Bradford (2), Cameron County (3), Coudersport (2), Eisenhower (2), Elk County Catholic (3), Kane Area (5), Johnsonburg (3), Otto-Eldred (3), Port Allegany (3), Ridgway (3), Sheffield (2), Smethport (2), St Marys (4), Warren (2) and Youngsville (2).
The New York team this season will be coached by Marsh, who will be joined by Allegany-Limestone coach Paul Furlong (a Salamanca alum) and his personal assistants with the Warriors, Chad Bartoszek and Todd Faller. Head coaches are chosen on a rotating basis among the eligible schools.