STEUBENVILLE - The Big Red Boosters held their first appreciation banquet in 1997 as a way to honor Lou Giammarco, a great friend and follower of the school's athletic program.
On Sunday, the 18th version of the event (now known as the Lew Giammarco Appreciation and Football Kickoff Dinner) was held in the high school commons.
Seven individuals were honored for giving their time and talents to support the Big Red. Jim Davis, booster club treasurer, said the honorees were selected from a large group of nominees.
Those recognized Sunday included:
* Tom Timmons, who moved to Steubenville in 1981 and currently works for Wesbanco. He has been involved in commercial lending since 1983. A graduate of West Virginia University, Timmons is extremely active in the community. When he's not working, Timmons enjoys anything related to Steubenville Big Red athletics.
* Tom Mitchell, a 1970 Big Red graduate, who went on to play football at Northern Illinois University. He was an assistant football coach (serving on Reno Saccoccia's staff during the 1980s) and also served as Big Red's head track coach. Retired from education, Mitchell now resides in Columbus.
* Gary Kessler, who graduated from Big Red in 1963, is the owner of Steel Valley Tank and Welding in Brilliant. A sports enthusiast, Kessler provides support to many area events, including the annual Dean Martin Festival. He also supports Big Red's annual youth football camp.
* Big Red graduate Tom DiMichael was a longtime supporter of the school's athletic program. Prior to his death, DiMichael worked on a variety of booster club projects.
* Former football coach and teacher Paul Filtz, who was a member of Saccoccia's original staff at Big Red. Filtz coached the offensive and defensive lines for more than 20 years. Two of his sons, Dan and Todd, now coach for Big Red.
* Walter Mason Jr. graduated from Big Red in 1955. For 25 years, he owned and operated Walt's Gulf station in Steubenville. Mason, who died recently, was a huge supporter of all Big Red athletics. He also enjoying supporting the Post 33 baseball team.
* Ron Salvino, who will be starting his 40th year on the Big Red teaching staff next month. He teaches industrial arts, drafting, engineering technology and printing. Since 1976, Salvino has been involved in the production of the Big Red football program and other athletic material.
After the awards were presented, Saccoccia introduced the 17 seniors who will wear crimson and the black this season. Meanwhile, athletic director Lynn Meyer acknowledged the seven senior cheerleaders. Meyer substituted for adviser Kelly Lancia who coached the Ohio cheering squad for Sunday's OVAC football classic.