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Big 30 Football Game to Again Pit Top Players from New York and Pennsylvania

For the area high schools Class of 2011, football season ended back in October or November. Some players ended their season with a loss in the playoffs while others captured state titles.

Regardless of how their seasons ended, the area's top football players (along with cheerleaders and homecoming queens) have one last opportunity to showcase for the fans.

This Saturday night, Aug. 6, these now-graduated boys and girls will head to Parkway Field in Bradford for the Don Raabe Big 30 Charities Classic.

The classic, now in its 38th 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 before they head to college, where some of them will continue their football careers while others will not.

All the players in the game on both sides (New York against Pennsylvania) graduated from their respective schools in June. The ‘Big 30' title comes from the areas in 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 43 total players from Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua Counties, according to the website: Allegany-Limestone (four), Bolivar-Richburg (one), Cattaraugus-Little Valley (two), Cuba-Rushford (three), Ellicottville (one), Franklinville (one), Frewsburg (one), Gowanda (two) Olean (three), Pioneer (four), Portville (three), Randolph (three), Salamanca (four), Southwestern (five) and Wellsville (five).

Rosters can - and likely will - change in the days leading up to the game, but Marsh said he's optimistic about his team due to practice attendance.

"Attendance has been good," Marsh said. "All the kids are making a real good effort and commitment to be here each night to do this."

Two new schools join that list, as Frewsburg and South western have been added to equalize matters.

The New York team this season will be coached by Marsh, who will be joined by his assistants, Todd Faller, Aaron Hill and Dustin Ross. Head coaches are chosen on a rotating basis among the eligible schools. Marsh and Hill have also played in the game.

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