Columbiana Athletic Department recognizes dedicated fan, veteran with plaque

Friday night, a man who has dedicated himself to this country, as well as his hometown of Columbiana, was given the spotlight

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WYTV) – Over the past 50 years, one thing has stayed the same at Columbiana High School’s home football games — the raising of the American flag by a World War II veteran.

Friday night, a man who has dedicated himself to this country, as well as his hometown, was given the spotlight.

Whether it be security or raising the American flag, George Zohnd has always been the man to call.

“He’s a go-to guy. In other words, [people say,] ‘George this is happening, what can we do about it? George, can you help me out with this?’ and he was always ready to do that. He’s a very proud guy and he’s very proud of that flag,” said Columbiana High School’s former athletic director, Connie Ward.

Those who work with Zohnd call him a “mainstay” and say raising the flag every Friday night for the past 20 years has been what keeps him going, despite his age. He turned 97 back in July.

“I figured it was just my duty and I like football and I like Columbiana, and so why not fit it all together?” Zohnd said.

But even before flag raising, Zohnd still dedicated his time and service to Columbiana Clippers football. He is a well-known face by the team and its fans.

So Friday night, he was presented with a plaque to honor his years of service, joined by his entire family — three children, 13 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild — who say he is a great father, a fun person to be around and loyal to his country.

“He feels it is his duty to come out and put up the flag and just be around,” daughter Sherry Schaffer said.

And although everyone says he deserves it, Zohnd was still very humbled and surprised by the act, saying he had no idea it was coming.