April 4, 2013
Nick Conway turned in a stellar senior campaign for the Port Allegany football team in 2012, smashing the District 9 single-season records for receiving yardage (1,482) and touchdowns (24) as the Gators advanced to the PIAA Class A semifinals before falling to eventual state champ Clairton.
For his accomplishments, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound wide receiver was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers and Pa. Football News All-State teams – and even garnered a second-team nod from the MaxPreps.com Small School All-American squad – in addition to the Olean Times Herald Big 30 All-Star Team, which earned him an automatic invitation to play in next August’s Don Raabe Charities Classic.
But when the Raabe committee asked Conway to list his biggest football thrill, the New England Patriots fan didn’t pick any of his 31 career touchdowns or his record-setting 204-yard, three-score performance in the district championship game. It would be hard to argue with the play he did choose, though: recovering the fumble that led to Port’s miraculous 28-21 comeback win over Sharpsville in the state playoffs.
“I was just in the right place at the right time and dove on it,” he said after the game. “You can’t describe it with words. I don’t know what to say.”
Of course, that game was played at Bradford, as were the D-9 playoff tilts against Elk County Catholic and Clarion. According to the press release, Conway “sees the Raabe Classic as a chance to relive his senior season with his teammates.” Stepping onto the Parkway Field turf one more time is sure to trigger some of those memories.
Before then, though, the defending district 110- and 300-meter hurdles champ and two-time state medalist has his sights set on a third consecutive trip to the PIAA outdoor track and field championships in Shippensburg. Already the school recordholder in both events as well as the 200-meter dash, he added a 4th-place finish in the indoor 60-meter hurdles to last spring’s bronze in the 110.
A standout in the classroom as well as on the field, Conway plans to continue his track career at the Division 1 level at St. Francis (Pa.) University, where he’s been accepted into the accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Two other Allegheny Mountain League standouts and Big 30 All-Stars, Smethport quarterback/defensive back Clay Schuler and Elk County Catholic lineman Shea Meyer, were also added to the Pennsylvania roster for the Aug. 3 game.