Bellefonte’s Jessica Book and Nicholas Jabco received the Centre Daily Times’ James Snyder Awards on Wednesday.
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. It is given to male and female senior letterwinners who demonstrate excellence in the classroom as well as being a good citizen in the school and community.
Book competed in soccer, basketball and track and field during her career, earning 12 letters. She was a team captain for all three sports in her final two seasons.
Book was the Mountain League MVP in soccer as a junior.
“I started playing when I was 4,” Book said. “My parents introduced me to it just to get me out of the house, I think. I really enjoyed the team aspect, it’s a very dynamic game so it was very enjoyable to me to be with a bunch of girls that just had the same love of running and kicking a ball around. And I learned all of the complicated dynamics of the game and it was a really good outlet for me to push myself.”
In track and field, she was the Mountain League 800 champion and part of the 4x800 championship team.
She is going to Grove City College to play soccer and basketball. Book plans to study exercise science for health professionals.“I am very excited to be moving on with my life, but I’ll definitely keep all of the people that have impacted my life in my heart and keep them in my life,” Book said. “... It’s just such an honor to be a part of the Bellefonte community and athletics here, and a huge honor to be the Snyder Award recipient.”
Jabco played football and baseball.
He helped the baseball team win back-to-back District 6 Class AAA championships. The Red Raiders beat Hollidaysburg 7-5 in the championship game Wednesday.
Jabco led the team in hitting this season.
In football, he had 49 carries for 211 yards and a touchdown last season. He also had 12 catches for 164 yards and two scores and finished with 658 all-purpose yards.
“I loved working for a team that was the underdog,” Jabco said. “We didn’t have the seasons that we wanted to have, but I would have ran through a brick wall for coach (Shanon) Manning and I know he would have done the same for me. It was awesome to work and try to rebuild a program.”
Jabco said his parents emphasized academics.
“They always taught me academics are the most important thing,” Jabco said. “It’s essential because baseball and football, you can get injured any time, but if you have academics you have that for life. So they’ve always pushed me to be just as good academically, if not better in the classroom than on the field.”
Jabco is going to St. Francis for a five-year program to become a physician’s assistant.
“I was always getting injured in sports when I was little so I always got to see the other side of things,” Jabco said. “I’m really interested in how the body works. … I really like helping people and helping people the way I can do it, so I’m really excited to get into that field.”