Penny Semaia was twice an All-Mohawk Valley lineman at Thomas R. Proctor High School and a track standout as well before going to play football at the University of Pittsburgh. He was first team All-State and a Golden 50 New York State Selection in 1998. He was captain and lineman of the year during his senior year, when the Raiders made the Section III playoffs for the first time. He was selected to participate in the Governor’s Bowl All-State Classic that showcased the best high school football talent in New York and New Jersey, and went on to Pitt, where he played on bowl teams all four years as defensive tackle and offensive guard. As a sophomore, he had four tackles and his first career sack while playing against Syracuse University. Semaia is now Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student Life at Pitt, and has served as a facilitator for many NCAA life skills conferences.