The event, highlighted locally by Palmyra taking on Annville-Cleona at 8 p.m., benefits the James and Mary Edith Rhoades Foundation, established in October 2008 to honor former State Senator James Rhoades after he was killed in an automobile accident. James and Mary Edith Rhoades were the parents of former LVC basketball star and current Virginia Commonwealth assistant coach Mike Rhoades, who led the Flying Dutchmen to the 1994 NCAA Division III national title.
The Rhoades Foundation's stated mission is to "promote education, giving, and community involvement to enrich our community as a whole," and one of the ways it does so is by awarding three $2,000 scholarships to deserving area students each year.
In addition to the Palmyra-Annville-Cleona clash at 8 p.m., the Classic will begin with Mahanoy Area, Mike Rhoades' alma mater, taking on Mt. Carmel at 5 p.m., followed by Lower Dauphin battling Waynesboro at 6:30 p.m.
Mahanoy Area is coached by Mick Holland, Mary Edith Rhoades' brother and Mike Rhoades' high school coach. Two of Mike Rhoades' former teammates at LVC - John Lazicki and Mark Hofsass - are heavily involved in the event. Lazicki is the coach at Mt. Carmel, while former Palmyra coach Hofsass is the head coach for Lower Dauphin.
"I know that to me personally, it means a great deal to be able to make some contribution to the Rhoades Foundation," Hofsass said, "because I had so much respect for Senator Rhoades and for everything that he stood for."