Eleven players and two coaches have been selected to represent the WPIAL in the 62nd playing of the Big 33 Football Classic, an annual high school all-star game that features the best players in Pennsylvania.
Representatives from the WPIAL include Penn Hills wide receiver Dante Cephas, Woodland Hills cornerback Mike Coleman, Central Catholic defensive end Brian Dallas, Aliquippa cornerback MJ Devonshire, Aliquippa wide receiver Will Gipson, Penn Hills cornerback Daequan Hardy, Latrobe center Trent Holler, Pine-Richland linebacker Tyler King, Aliquippa defensive tackle Solvauhn Moreland, North Hills guard Lirion Murtezi and North Allegheny cornerback Joey Porter, Jr.
Central Valley coach Mark Lyons will be the head coach of the Pennsylvania team, while Hampton’s Jacque DeMatteo assists.
Aliquippa’s three honorees is tied for the most in the state with Bethlehem Catholic and Bishop McDevitt, which is near Harrisburg.
“We’re excited to see today’s new PA team gear up for one of America’s favorite sports, and we’re looking forward to another spectacular game, one that’s been played since 1957, and continues to energize generations of fans,” PSFCA President Coach Bret Stover said in a press release. “We are grateful to the commissioners, our host families, players, sponsors, buddies, cheerleaders, fans, and volunteers for supporting the success of one of the country’s top high school competitions.”
The PSFCA took over the game in 2017, continuing a long tradition that has included at least on Big 33 alumnus in every Super Bowl game. This year, the Pennsylvania all-stars will face Maryland at Landis Field in Harrisburg on May 27. Maryland won the 2018 game, 9-6 on a field goal with 10 seconds left.
Pennsylvania has been playing Maryland since 2013, and also faced teams from the Old Line State from 1985-92. Pennsylvania played Ohio from 1993-2012 and has also faced teams from Texas.
At least two of the WPIAL players selected will represent Pennsylvania at the next level, as well, with Porter (Penn State) and Gipson (Pitt) having signed on to play at the next level in state. Coleman (Toledo), Cephas and Dallas (Kent State), Holler (East Carolina), King and Murtezi (Navy) and Moreland (Ball State) will all play their college ball elsewhere. Devonshire and Hardy are still undecided.
Two other Pitt signees were also selected for the game: Loyalsock defensive end Bam Brima and Berks Catholic linebacker Brandon George.
The game will kick off at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at big33.org.