The eighth group of players named to the 46th annual Big 30 Charities Classic has been released. This year’s game is set for the night of Aug. 3 at Bradford’s Parkway Field.
The all-star football game, founded by Don Raabe, matches graduated senior stars from each side of the Big 30 border with New York leading the series, 22-21-2, though Pennsylvania has won three straight games, including last August’s 37-22 triumph.
Proceeds benefit area charities, and, over the first 45 years, the game has donated nearly $1.7 million to area causes.
Added today to the New York squad are Bolivar-Richburg’s Adam Jones, Cuba-Rushford’s Ben Frank and DeAndre Ahrens and Wellsville’s James McKinley.
Pennsylvania’s additions are Smethport’s Dale Burdick, St. Marys’ Cody Ritter and Jackson McClain and Warren’s Marv Bryant.
Today’s eight addees bring to 60 the number of players named to the game — 30 to each roster. Eventually, both squads will number 40-plus players.
Burdick was a 6-foot-2, 175-pound tight end/linebacker who plans to become a real-estate entrepreneur.
Ritter was a 6-1, 195-pound wide receiver-running back/cornerback who was the Flying Dutchmen’s captain and Offensive MVP
An honor student and member of the National Honor Society, he will attend either Robert Morris University or Penn State-Behrend to study finance and accounting, then go to Duquesne to earn a masters in business administration.
His favorite memory playing football was “experiencing Coach (Tony) Defillippi's last game in the locker room.”
McClain was a 5-11, 165-pound running back/linebacker who was St. Marys MVP.
He will attend Triangle Tech to become a welder.
Of the Charities Classic, he said, “It has always been a dream of mine to play in the biggest game of the year and see how I match up with the best players in the Big 30.”
His favorite moment playing football was “a 15-yard sack against Karns City.”
Bryant was a 5-10, 195-pound running back/linebacker who was his team’s Offensive and Defensive MVP and a District 10 All-Star.
He plans to enter the military after graduation.
His most memorable moment playing football was “scoring the game-winning point and beating Meadville 21-20.”
Jones was a 5-foot-10, 220-pound center/nose guard who was selected to the prestigious Big 30 All-Star Football Team and also selected to Section 5’s Eddie Meath All-Star Game.
He won the Connors and Ferris Bowl Championship twice in a row and also won a Section 5 Sportsmanship Award for the Connors and Ferris Bowl) was a National Football Foundation silver medalist, a Livingston County All-Star, B-R’s Most Improved Player as a junior after being selected line captain in 2017 and team captain as a senior. He was basketball captain his final three seasons, played in the Counselor's Classic All-Star Game and was golf captain as a sophomore and an Allegany County All-Star.
He won Scholar-Athlete Team Awards in football, basketball and golf. Academically, he won the Outstanding Academic Excellence Award, Superintendent's Award, Principal's Scholar Award, the English Honors Highest Average, Principal's Fairness Award and was B-R’s representative in the Angelo Melaro Writing Contest.
Bound for Slippery Rock University, Jones will major in homeland security and minor in military science while participating in the Army ROTC program.
He was tabbed Most Outstanding Student in College Sports Management l and ll, won the Elmira Key Award and National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Greater Rochester Scholar-Athlete Awards.
Ahrens was a 5-10, 165-pound wide receiver/cornerback.
A two-time track & field Sportsmanship Award winner, his favorite moment playing football was “juking two players out of their shoes and they ran into each other.”
He will attend Jamestown Community College and major in physical education.
Frank was a 6-5, 235-pound two-way tackle who was a Livingston County All-Star and his team’s captain and Defensive MVP.
He will attend Hobart College and major in environmental studies and pre-law and play football.
He’s excited to play in the Charities Classic because “my uncles and my dad all played in the game. And I want to play one last game with some of my teammates.
“His favorite football memory was “the day I got selected to play in the Big 30 Charities Classic.”
McKinley was a 6-1, 180-pound tight end/defensive end who earned the Coaches/ Award.
He will attend Alfred State and major in heavy equipment operations.
He’s looking forward to the Charities Classic as it was “an honor to be selected and it will be my last football game.”
His favorite memory playing football was “scoring a touchdown against Batavia.”