March 28, 2013
For the past two seasons, when opposing football coaches tried to figure out how to slow down Port Allegany’s high-powered offense, they knew they’d have to account for Tyce Miller.
Not very many of them succeeded.
Miller obliterated the District 9 career records for catches (177), yardage (3,065), and receiving touchdowns (36) during the Gators’ run to back-to-back District 9 championships and state playoff appearances. As a junior, he became the first wideout in school history to notch a 1,000-yard season, and followed it up with an even better senior campaign.
“He’s ridiculous, as good as he is. I’ve never seen hands like he has,” quarterback Matt Bodamer said after Miller broke the D-9 record with a three-touchdown performance – the last one a highlight-reel 65-yard catch-and-run – against Sheffield.
Miller’s effort didn’t go unnoticed. A two-time selection to the Pennsylvania Sportswriters and Pa. Football News Class A All-State squads, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound speedster also earned a repeat nod from the Olean Times Herald Big 30 All-Star team – and with it, an invitation to the 40th annual Big 30 Don Raabe Charities Classic.
Slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Aug. 3, the Raabe Classic matches teams of graduated seniors from Pennsylvania and New York. In the previous 39 years, more than $1.5 million has been raised for groups and individuals in need on both sides of the border.
Miller, a Minnesota Vikings fan who would like to major in nursing but is still undecided on his college choice, told the Big 30 Committee he’d “dreamed of playing in the Raabe Classic since he was a little kid because he had wanted to play with and against the best athletes in the area.”
At least four of his teammates – fellow Big 30 All-Stars Matt Bodamer, Nick Budd, Nick Conway, and Alex Gular – automatically received invitations to the game, and several other Gators could also be added to the squad.
In addition, Mike Bodamer and the Port High staff have been invited to coach the Pennsy squad, which already includes several other players from the Allegheny Mountain League:
Cameron County: Devin Mason (6-0, 180 pounds, TE/LB)
Coudersport: Mitch Freeman (6-1, 190 pounds, RB/LB) and Caden Whitman (5-10, 184 pounds, RB/S)
Elk County Catholic: Hank Cappiello (6-0, 215 pounds, FB/DE)
Johnsonburg: Mitch Holmberg (5-9, 160 pounds, WR/S)
Kane: Loren Kumher (5-10, 190 pounds, C/LB)
Otto-Eldred: Nate Rodgers (5-10, 220 pounds, OL/DL)
Ridgway: Cortland Smith (5-7, 190 pounds, OL/DL)
Smethport: Karl Lightner (5-6, 150 pounds, RB/S)