Studd’s participation in Upstate/Downstate Classic allows community representation and the chance to play for a Division I school
The association said that this game serves as “the pinnacle for high school football in the state of New York.” It is also where Springville-Griffith Institute graduate and former varsity football player Troy Studd will have the opportunity to compete for a spot on a Division I team.
Studd explained that 60 football players from Upstate New York were called in for an evaluation practice, at which time they were informed that 34 of them would be going home. “That spices up the practice, if you know what I mean,” said Studd. “The talent there was off the chart.” After the first practice, Studd learned that he had made the team.
The Springville athlete said that, when he first began to play football at the age of 14, he was going up against 18-year-olds. “I saw I could hold my own,” he said. Studd explained that the confidence he gained from that experience now serves to propel him as he practices with the other players.
The upcoming game will also serve as an opportunity for Studd to earn a scholarship to a Division I school. Although he was initially prepared to sign with the University of Akron, a Division I school, Studd said that the firing of that school’s entire coaching staff ended that opportunity. Although he said he is currently committed to playing football at Division II school Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, Studd said, “This game is my second chance. You can still be recruited [to play for a Division I school] out of this game. Twenty-two guys will be fighting for one or two scholarships.”
Studd will play on the offensive line during the game, most likely at right tackle, but he said that there is a chance for him to be placed at right guard.
The biggest difference between playing at the high school level and playing in the upcoming game will be the level of speed, Studd explained. He said that he anticipated the classic to be much faster than high school.
“There’s going to be great defensive ends and it’s going to be hard to stop them,” Studd said. He pointed out that the game will involve 70 percent passing and 30 percent running, as compared to the 70 percent running and 30 percent passing employed at the high school level.
Both Studd and his father Douglas agreed that they would love to see the upstate team defeat the downstate competition, after upstate lost 41-7 to downstate last year. “That would be so sweet if we can beat those guys,” said Douglas Studd, and his son added, “Our coach told us to be ready to turn it up three or four notches when we play them.”
Douglas Studd said he felt that his son’s experience will be a “fitting tribute and end to all the hard work and love of the game that has gone in to achieve this goal.” He said, “It’s an honor to play in this game. What better way to leave your school. [The game] will be payback for all the coaches and who trusted and believed in [Troy].”
Troy Studd said the game will serve as a “nice opportunity to represent the school, coaches and trainers who helped me to get to this point.” He also thanked all the players he played with at S-GI through the years. “I wish all the guys I played with the best of luck,” he said. “I was neck and neck with those guys, and they made the plays happen, too.”
Coach John Sopko said, of the S-GI senior, “This is quite an accomplishment and we should all be very proud of Troy achieving this honor, to participate at such a high level, representing Springville. It could be said, next to the state championship games, there is no other higher opportunity to represent one’s community on the high school level. Hopefully, he has been provided that support in every manner possible. I am very proud of him. There may be many others equal to him, but no one wore that purple with more pride than Troy.”
The Upstate/Downstate Football Classic will be played at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on Sunday, June 10 at 2 p.m.