INSIDE INDIANA: Nance, Jacob, Philip, Maryann, etc.
To whom it may concern —
Are you ready for some football?
Local high schools will kick off the gridiron season tonight amid what should be perfect game weather.
If you are going to the Indiana High School football game this evening, make sure you get there early. On the field prior to the opening kickoff will be members of arguably the greatest backfield ever assembled in the history of the school.
The occasion? The dedication of James Nance Memorial Highway — North Fifth Street in Indiana Borough and past the high school in White Township, and Fifth Avenue in White Township to North Fourth Street.
Committee members Rod Ruddock and Jerry Kozusko were teammates of Nance, and they have contacted the other members of the 1961 team that included the backfield of Nance, Barry McKnight, Dave McNaughton and quarterback W.H. Spadafora.
All three running backs played at Division I schools — Nance at Syracuse, McKnight at Pitt and McNaughton at Penn State — when they were among the elite collegiate football teams in the nation. Spadafora graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy but was not a member of the football squad there.
Ruddock, an Indiana County commissioner, stated that as of Thursday evening, all but one of the starters on the ’61 team would be in attendance.
Members of the Nance family, including Jim’s daughter Rachael and her family from New York, will be on the field prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff.
IUP kicks off its season Sept. 6 in a home game against Saint Augustine’s (N.C.), and western Pennsylvania’s beloved Steelers, now finished with preseason games, will start their season Sept. 7 against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
Weather has also been perfect all week for the annual Indiana County Fair, which ends its run Saturday.
But have no fear: There are still two area fairs left to attend before summer officially comes to an end.
The 79th annual Ox Hill Community Agricultural Fair runs from Sunday to Sept. 6 at the fairgrounds along Route 85 between Home and Plumville.
New events include the Ox Hill Run/Walk for Cancer 5K on Labor Day and a demolition derby Friday.
Finishing up fair season in Indiana County will be the Green Township Community Fair at the Cookport fairgrounds on Route 240 from Sept. 8 to 14.
FROM THE (E)MAIL
Proud grandfather Jim Craig, of Indiana, reports that his grandson, Jacob Craig, of Berlin, has just received a scholarship to play football at Pitt.
The redshirt sophomore, son of Eric and Maria Craig, was a walk-on as a freshman two years ago.
YOUR WEEKEND CALENDAR
If you’re in the mood to shop, ShadoWood Village has an event for you this weekend.
A craft open house is set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at 80 Shady Drive, White Township.
Included for sale will be handmade primitive furniture, soy candles, hand-painted custom signs, custom embroidery items, jewelry, baked goods and more.
Blairsville's community yard sale is set from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Look for signs around town for participating households, and check by the gazebo, where several spaces will be set up for residents who live out of town or in an area hard to find.
The final Concert in the Park, at Indiana’s Memorial Park, will feature Gashouse Annie from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Philip Chiodo Jr., of the Indiana Lions Club, was recently honored for reaching a 45-year milestone of service to the Indiana Lions Club and community.
The Lions Club International Monarch Chevron Award recognizes members’ anniversaries and “encourages them to continue making a difference in their local communities and worldwide,” said Lioness Betty L. Gress.
Maryann L. Sulecky Rokicsak, 80, of Clarksburg, passed away recently at Beacon Ridge in White Township.
She and her husband, Vincent (Vince), owned and operated the Country Meadows Golf Course near Saltsburg and were well known as they greeted the golfers who played the course.
Country Meadows closed its doors for good on Dec. 31, 2009.
Chestnut Ridge Golf & Resort Conference Center in Burrell Township will mark its 50th anniversary with a celebration Sunday, starting at 6 p.m.
The event offers a complimentary picnic buffet and draft beer, with a cash bar available.
Off Limits will perform at 8 p.m., with fireworks set to go off at 9:30.
Reservations are recommended but not required at (724) 459-7191, ext. 111.
SHOP TALK AT SIX
The first in a series of community shred days — a free service to destroy personal documents — will be held Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon at Indiana First Bank in the Townfair Plaza. Shredding days are also set for Sept. 13 in Punxsutawney and Sept. 20 in Blairsville, at the same time. … Gas prices in the Indiana area today were running at $3.49 a gallon for regular unleaded, compared to $3.43 statewide and nationally (www.pennsylvaniagasprices.com). … Please read but don’t bet on it: Mars 28, Indiana 13; Pitt 38, Delaware 14; Penn State 24, University of Central Florida 21 … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, says he was inspired by the signboard at Covenant Way Church in White Township, which read, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”