Nation Ford High School students have put their mark on the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas for the third year in a row.
Second-year Digital Art and Design students at the school competed with each other to design the program cover, tickets and promotional posters for the Shrine Bowl, the oldest high school all-star football game in the nation.
Designs by Nation Ford students have been used by the game’s organizers since a partnership between the school and the Shriners began three yars ago.
Proceeds from the game, played in December, benefit Shriner’s Hospital. Each edition of the game has a new theme; this year’s is “Salute to Heroes.”
Breanna Petrucci, a 17-year-old senior, won first place with her design, which she said was meant to incorporate all heroes, since not everyone’s hero is the same.
“I feel very accomplished to be a part of something so big,” said Petrucci. “I couldn’t be more honored to be chosen.”
Petrucci’s teacher said this could be a big step on Petrucci’s career path.
“Not only is this a great cause, but the experience for the students is life-changing and can open so many doors and motivate them to pursue the field of graphic design,” said Joe McConkey, Digital Art and Design teacher at Nation Ford.
The partnership with the Shriners first came about through a former Nation Ford student and her mother, who at the time was in charge of the Shrine Bowl.
“They were not impressed with their previous design, (so) the student recommended she talk to us,” said McConkey.
Since then, the students have prepared designs each year that incorporate important event information with sponsor logos and the Bowl logo, while following an overall theme.
Typically, the class takes three weeks to complete the projects. This year, however, students worked under a tighter deadline of only two weeks, since they also were committed to designing promotional posters for an upcoming Nation Ford High School Performing Arts Company event.
“I really had to push my students hard to be able to give them the opportunity to do both projects,” said McConkey. “The students view these projects as huge opportunities to get their work out there and be published.”
McConkey, a teacher for 24 years including seven at Nation Ford, said he tries to incorporate projects like this into his levels one through three classes, although it is his second-year students that learn to focus on developing both design principles and designer-client relationships.
The Shrine Bowl project gave them an opportunity to practice both.
Hannah Sumner, a 16-year-old junior, said she was shocked to learn her design was chosen for second place.
“It was definitely a surprise,” said Sumner. “It makes me feel good as a designer to know that someone likes my work and it (motivates me) to keep doing well for future projects.”
Both Petrucci and Sumner said they plan to continue studying art and design in college.