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Late coach to be honored in memorial tribute

August 21, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On August 23, following a dual football scrimmage at Greenwood Chevrolet Falcon Stadium, the late Coach Phil Annarella will be remembered with a special memorial tribute.

"We all felt that something needed to be done sometime during the season," said Austintown Athletic Director Jim Penk. "I felt that doing it after a 'free' scrimmage would encourage people to come out and not have to worry about an entrance fee, or vice versa, or us having to worry about charging people."

The evening will begin with the freshmen football team scrimmaging Youngstown East at 4:30 p.m. Following that session at 6 p.m., the JV and varsity teams will scrimmage Akron Buchtel. After each scrimmage, the visiting teams will depart the field and head to the Fitch cafeteria for pizza.

At 7:45 p.m., the Fitch Football Team will move from the field to the stands before the start of the tribute.

At 8 p.m. the Memorial Tribute will begin with the recognition, by stadium announcer Tom Mock, of Coach Annarella's immediate family. That will be followed by the Fitch Choir performance under the direction of Bill Klien, and a speech from Fitch Principal Chris Berni titled "Remembering the Important Things." The Fitch Band will then perform under the direction of Wes O'Connor.

The evening's ceremony will end with a video tribute to Coach Annarella that was designed by Matt Cowles.

"[Cowles is] our video board specialist," Penk said. "He collected family and team pictures to put the video together."

Upon the completion of the video, the entire stadium will be asked to leave in silence.

When asked what the unusual ending signified, Penk offered this explaination: "Plain and simple, Coach Annarella loved to have the team cheered for, but he was a humble man. He would appreciate knowing that 'it' was done right and no applause needed."

As stated, the tribute will be held following the scrimmages so the event is free and open to the public. Penk said everyone is welcome to come and pay their respects and remember the greatness of Coach Phil Annarella.



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