April 21, 2011
Ken Kysor was double trouble for Port Allegany’s opponents last fall, when the soccer all-star decided to play football in his senior year, too. Kysor quickly became one of the best kickers the Gators have ever had, ranking among the state leaders in field goals and touchbacks, and celebrated Homecoming against Otto-Eldred by drilling a 40-yarder which many longtime observers of the program believed to be a school record.
“He’s been a weapon for us all year,” coach Mike Bodamer said during the Gators’ run to the District 9 championship game.
Juggling the demands of his two-sport status – one memorable Saturday morning found him playing in the soccer team’s Senior Day win over Johnsonburg, then making the trip to Sheffield to kick six extra points as the football Gators routed the Wolverines that afternoon – Kysor finished the year as one of Port’s leading scorers, with six field goals and 37 PATS. The defense also benefited from his booming kickoffs, which pinned the opponent at or inside its own 20-yard line on 30 of 64 attempts (including 20 touchbacks).
His efforts garnered him all-star honors from both the Allegheny Mountain League in football and the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League, a spot on the Pennsylvania Class A All-State team, and the D9Sports.com Special Teams Player of the Year award.
He was also one of three Gators selected for the Olean Times Herald’s Big 30 All-Star team, which includes an automatic invitation to play in the 38th annual Don Raabe Charities Classic, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 at Parkway Field in Bradford, Pa.
Formerly known as the Big 30 All-Star Game before being named in memory of its founder, the first 37 games between teams of graduated seniors from area high schools in Pennsylvania and New York have raised nearly $1.5 million dollars to benefit numerous charities and personal causes throughout the Twin Tiers.
The Pennsy roster includes players from Bradford, Cameron County, Coudersport, Eisenhower, Elk County Catholic, Kane, Johnsonburg, Otto-Eldred, Port Allegany, Ridgway, Sheffield, Smethport, St. Marys, Warren and Youngsville.
Players from Southwestern and Frewsburg, two Chautauqua County schools, will join those from Allegany-Limestone, Bolivar-Richburg, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Cuba-Rushford, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Gowanda, Olean, Pioneer, Portville, Randolph, Salamanca and Wellsville on the New York squad, which won last year’s game 46-37 to increase its series lead to 19-16-2.
An honor roll student who also spends some of his limited free time volunteering as an EMT with the Port Area Ambulance Service, Kysor plans to major in chemistry in college, then go on to medical school for anesthesiology.