Meili Belko and Curtis Matsko were the recipients of the James Snyder Award at Philipsburg-Osceola High School’s annual sports awards banquet on Monday night.
The award, sponsored by the Centre Daily Times, is given in memory of Snyder, a former CDT sports editor, who was killed in an automobile accident in December of 1957.
The award is given to the male and female letterwinners who also demonstrated excellence in the classroom as well as being a good citizen in the school and community.
Matsko is a 12-time letterwinner for Mounties athletics in three sports, playing football, basketball and baseball during his high school career.
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Away from P-O athletics, Matsko also coaches elementary school football, is a member of the Letterwinners Club, the Fly Fishing Club and the National Honor Society.
“It was definitely a pleasant surprise,” Matsko said. “There are plenty of great athletes coming out of my senior class. A lot of my friends are great athletes that have started with me my whole life. To be able to win that award out of all those guys is really a great thing for me.”
He is the son of Joseph and Kelly Matsko of Philipsburg.
Matsko was a captain on the football, basketball and baseball teams as a senior.
“All of my memories revolve around being able to be around my best friends for four years or longer, some of the guys, playing the sport that we all love,” Matsko said. “It’s just a great feeling.”
This fall, Matsko will attend Shippensburg University, where he will study business and play on the football team. He also plans to minor in coaching and hopes to become a football strength coach or personal trainer.
“I’d like to become a personal trainer and have my own line of gyms and stuff like that to help kids like how I am now trying to get to that next level or even college guys training to get the next level,” Matsko said. “It’s just something I’ve always liked to do.”
Belko accumulated seven letters during her Lady Mounties athletic career, running on the track and field team for three seasons and playing soccer for four.
“I really enjoyed working with the team and in track, getting better individually,” Belko said. “So I thought it was a good time and a good experience.”
She also played the flute and trombone in the school band and was the Homecoming Queen last fall.
The National Honor Society member also was in the Drama club, the Letterwinners club, on the prom committee and served on the student council.
“I was really happy because it showed that my hard work paid off,” Belko said of winning the award.
She is the daughter of Amy Jo Belko of Philipsburg.
She will study pre-med this fall at East Tenneessee State. Belko said she plans to attend medical school after college and become a doctor.
“I like to help people,” Belko said. “So I thought one of the best ways to help people would be to become a doctor.”
She said she’s looking forward to graduating and heading to college.
“I’ll miss it because high school was really fun for me,” Belko said. “I really enjoyed it, especially my senior year I enjoyed that, but I think I’m ready to take the next step into college and have that experience.”