UNION CITY, Ohio – Mississinawa Valley High School is going to have to hold a grudge against Ansonia High. Their rivals now hold the trophy after traveling to Jackson Gym on June 26 with enough donors to take sole ownership of the 10th annual FFA Grudge Match Blood Drive title.
Supporters vote for their favorite FFA team when they register to donate. Last year’s Grudge Match at Ansonia ended in a surprising tie, knotting the series record at 4-4-1. On a hot summer day with votes hard to come by, Ansonia claimed a 12-8 victory.
The Grudge Match is a summer tradition that brings together the rival high school communities to help boost the blood supply before the challenging July 4th holiday period. The blood drive totaled 23 donors and 15 donations for Community Blood Center.
“We did really well,” said Ansonia’s Aaron Scammahorn, who is in his first year as a faculty member, FFA advisor and Grudge Match blood drive coordinator. “For the size of our community, it was very supportive. Pretty impressive.”
For host Mississinawa Valley, the vote was disappointing, but the effort was rewarding. “We always like to see Mississinawa Valley come out on top,” said co-FFA advisor and blood drive coordinator Gwen Bergman. “We’ve had someone here donating the whole time, from either side.”
Ansonia got a boost from loyal faculty donors, including art teacher Danielle Rhonemus and current events teacher Eugene Hoening. “I usually donate when the blood drives are at school,” said Eugene, who has taught at Ansonia for 39 years. “I left work a little early today to make it down here. I’m hoping I can push us to victory!”
“I always make sure I do the Grudge Match,” said Ansonia’s Angie Brown. “My kids went there, all three graduated from Ansonia. And I know my blood type O positive is needed. I’ve had a couple of phone calls saying my blood was used. It’s always good to hear your blood saved somebody.”
It’s back to work for Mississinawa FFA member Luke Livingston. He will be showing pigs at the Darke County Fair for the ninth year, and at the Ohio State Fair. “We work with our animals all summer,” said Luke.
Ansonia FFA members Kenzie Singer and Kylee Winner have finished work on the FFA’s red, white and blue float for Ansonia’s “Bold Stripes, Bright Stars, Brave Hearts” parade on July 6. They’ll ride along as Grudge Match champs.
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org.