Saber pride booming in Ford City’s final year |

Saber pride booming in Ford City’s final year

Brigid Beatty | Trib Total Media
Karlee Smith, Ford City High School senior class president, and Yuri Panchik, student council president, are seen here holding up the alumni and senior class T-shirts for the school's final fall sport season.

It’s the final year of Ford City High School, but not of Saber pride: “Ever in days to come, our fond memories will cling steadfast to purple and gold.” So say the newly designed yellow and purple alumni T-shirts unveiled on Friday by members of the senior class and student council at FCHS to commemorate the school’s final year.

Ford City and Kittanning high schools will close at the end of the year, and students will attend the new Armstrong Junior-Senior High School in Manor next fall.

“We’re raising money for the last season in Ford City High School,” said Yuri Panchik, student council president. “We want to go out with a bang and raise money for fireworks.”

The shirts, along with senior class T-shirts bearing the names of Ford City and Kittanning football players and coaches, cost $15 to $18 each depending on the size. Panchik hopes sales will help fund a firework display for the final home game against West Shamokin High School on Oct. 17 and for graduation day in early June.

“This year is not just about the seniors,” said Karlee Smith, senior class cabinet president. “It’s about the whole school and community and making the most of the time we have left.”

A line-up of activities has been planned for the last home game, said Sherry Hankey, one of the organizers of the night’s festivities.

Seniors participating in fall sports will be recognized from 6:15-6:45 p.m. before the 7 p.m. game. Alumni will be invited onto the field, and there will be class floats, raffles and music.

Ford Cliff fire department along Neale Avenue is providing food for purchase. Alcoholic beverages will not be sold at the fire hall but will be permitted on site for adults wishing to bring their own.

Hankey hopes Ford City alumni and Sabers supporters wear the T-shirts later in the month at the backyard brawl for the team’s last game against its longtime rival — the Kittanning Wildcats — who are one game behind in the 37-36 tight 100-year-rivalry. That game will be at Kittanning High school on Oct. 26.

“This season’s going to make history,” said Zeke Walker, a senior running back. “It’s a friendly rivalry, but this year I don’t think we’ll be friends on the field – it will be a brawl.”

There won’t be any holding back either for the Sabers center Tyler Coeburn.

“I’m bringing all of my nine years of playing and I’m going to leave everything I have on the field,” said Coeburn. “We’re up one and we can’t let them tie us.”

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or [email protected].

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