Chris Snee received a pair of phone calls bearing good news on consecutive days in July.
The first was from Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame vice president Jerry Valonis informing Snee of his selection to the local chapter. The second came from Boston College, letting him know he was part of its 2019 induction class into the school’s Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame.
Last weekend BC held its ceremony with Snee and the other inductees being recognized during halftime of the Eagles’ football game against North Carolina State.
On Sunday, Snee was one of 11 individuals honored during the 36th annual NEPA Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the University of Scranton’s DeNaples Center.
Other inductees include Holy Cross basketball coach Al Callejas; cross country runner Carly Graytock Shea; bowler Pamela Kiesel; football player and coach John Marichak; basketball official James “Red” McAndrew; football and track standout Thomas O’Donnell; wrestling coach and official Pete Smith; basketball player and official Kevin Walsh; basketball and softball player Sara Harris Walsh; and media award winner Kent Westling.
“Two different chapters, but two that were very influential in my life,” Snee said of the two Halls of Fame.
“I loved growing up in this area. I loved not only the success we had, but all the friendships. It allows me to go back and reminisce about my time here.”
Snee was a 2000 graduate of Montrose High School, where he was a three-time all-conference and two-time all-state selection.
He headed to Boston College, where he was a three-year starter at offensive guard and helped the Eagles win 25 games, including three bowl victories.
After graduating in 2004, Snee was drafted 34th overall by the New York Giants. He played 10 seasons in the NFL and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion (2007, 2011).
Everything Snee accomplished during his playing career he attributes to the work ethic he learned growing up in this area. He said it started with his parents, watching them grind daily and sacrifice for their family.
Work harder than anyone else was his mantra.
“I really carried that mentality with me through my career,” Snee said.
Snee thought reaching the NFL was a far-fetched, unrealistic goal.
“I was from a small high school in northeastern PA and I wasn’t really highly recruited,” he said. “I just took it one hurdle at a time. I went from high school to playing well in the Big 33 (game) to being a starter my second year of college. When that happened, then I really started to focus on making this my profession. I fully locked in, set my sights on it and nothing was going to stop me.”
Since retiring in 2014, Snee has remained close to the game the past three years by scouting offensive and defensive linemen for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Following Sunday’s induction ceremony, he was scheduled to leave today for the University of Michigan.
“It’s flexible. It allows me to stay involved in the game, but it doesn’t compromise my time at home,” Snee said. “I’m gone usually one night a week.
“I tell you what, evaluating college linemen is challenging. The college game has changed so much since I left. It’s become really lateral as opposed to downhill when I was playing.”
Although he works for the Jaguars, Snee still keeps tabs on the Giants.
“I’ll forever bleed blue,” he said. “Just right now, the Jags pay the bills.”
He obviously likes Giants running back Saquon Barkley, calls rookie quarterback Daniel Jones “a keeper” and thinks the offensive line is improved and will gel with time.
“The wins may not be there but they have talent grooming in the right places,” Snee said.
Snee’s family also keeps him busy.
Oldest son Dylan, 16, is a sophomore at Ramapo High School in New Jersey. He plays tight end and linebacker on the football team, which has won 21 straight games and was state champion last year.
Middle son Cooper is 13 and plays hockey. Youngest son Walker is 9, and Snee coaches his peewee football team. He and wife Kate also have a 3-year-old daughter Hartley.
Despite increased concerns about the safety of the game, such as concussions, Snee still allows two of his sons to play football. He knows first-hand what benefits the game can bring.
“I really do think the game has enhanced, especially at the youth level, which is why I became the (peewee) head coach,” Snee said. “I can control the contact, I can teach them how to keep their head up. Even my 16-year-old, before he gets out of the car every game, I tell him to see who he hits. You can’t take the violent portions out of the game, but you can prepare them for it.
“I know what football did for me and the man it made me. I can see the maturation in my 16-year old and even my 9-year old after playing three months. I can see him becoming a leader in front of my eyes.
“Am I worried about
contact? Every parent is. I’m not going to be a meathead and say I’m not worried about my sons. But I love the
game and know what the game gives to you.”