Bald Eagle Area’s Chelsea Butterworth and Garrett Giedroc are both accustomed to hearing their names called over the loudspeaker during soccer games and other sporting events — but they were both honored Friday night for more than athletics.
The two well-rounded student-athletes heard their names announced at BEA’s awards ceremony when they were both recognized as the school’s Snyder Award winners out of a graduating class of 125.
“It’s such an honor, honestly,” Butterworth said. “I’ve read about all the other Snyder Award winners, and to be among that group of students is amazing.”
Added Giedroc: “I was just really excited. It’s pretty crazy; it’s just really awesome to hear my name called.”
The James H. Snyder Awards are given in memory of Snyder, a former CDT sports editor who was killed in an automobile crash in December of 1957. The awards have become an annual county staple celebrating the community’s young leaders, a pair of seniors from each of the six county schools who embrace academics, athletics and community service.
And both Butterworth and Giedroc embody that standard.
Butterworth graduated 10th in her class, meeting her early goal of finishing within the top 10 percent. She took part in soccer for all four years and was named first-team All-Mountain League as a senior, while also helping lead the unified bocce team to a state title a few months ago, in its first season of varsity competition. (The member of the National Honor Society was also one of the bocce team’s first competitors a year ago, before it played on a state level.) Giedroc finished 16th in his class and leaves behind a legacy of leadership.
He was a soccer captain, and he became the first of his four brothers — three of whom are older — to qualify for states in wrestling. (He finished fourth at districts as a 120-pound senior.) He also made the distinguished honor roll every year and won the 2019 Wrestling Spirit Award.
And he couldn’t have been more pleased with the choices for BEA’s Snyder Awards.
“Once I saw us both get picked, I knew it was an honor because I know how hard Chelsea works on the athletic field and in the community,” Giedroc said. “She’s an overall great person so, if I can reflect that, it’s just a blessing to be able to have the same characteristics.”
Both students have developed reputations for being both humble and serving their communities. Butterworth was involved with her church youth group throughout high school, and she volunteered for the Special Olympics at least two years. “To see the look on their faces when they won, it was such a cherished memory,” Butterworth said. Giedroc was also heavily involved with his church youth group, going on several missions trips to help others.
Giedroc traveled with his youth group to West Virginia to clean a homeless shelter and provide food. He also helped construct a gazebo for the local family of a child with serious medical issues.
The two soon-to-be graduates balanced sports, academics and community service with other school clubs, too. Giedroc was in the National Honor Society as an upperclassman and, for three years, was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America — while somehow balancing a part-time job at Subway throughout the year. Butterworth was a member of a number of clubs — including Leo Club, the Special Olympics Committee, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), student government and mini-Thon.
Through all the activities and accolades, the core of their high school careers was dedicated to bettering themselves and helping others. And it’s difficult to create a better legacy at such a young age.
It’s that character that allowed the two Eagles to hear their names called Friday night for BEA’s Snyder Awards, and it will serve them well in the future. Giedroc is enrolling at Penn State (Altoona), while Butterworth will attend Bloomsburg.
“Getting this award is one of the higher-end awards that you can receive at school because you’re getting recognized for everything you do,” Butterworth said. “Not just academics or sports or community service.
“It just really shows your character.”