High school football notebook: Pennsylvania to play Maryland in Big 33 game
By Chris Harlan
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 11:02 p.m.
Maryland will replace Ohio as Pennsylvania's opponent in the Big 33 Football Classic, ending a 20-year rivalry with the Buckeye State.
The change will provide solid high school talent while also potentially drawing larger crowds to Hershey for the all-star game, said executive director Dave Trimbur, noting the shorter trip from Maryland.
Next year's game is June 15.
“They can make it here in two hours,” he said, “while Ohio is six or seven hours away. When you put all that stuff together, it made sense for us to go back to Maryland.”
Maryland was Pennsylvania's Big 33 opponent between 1985-92, and the Keystone state won six of eight games.
In the 20 years since, Ohio won 11 times, including the past four. Among Ohio's alumni were Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk.
“The biggest question we've heard: You've lost four years in a row. Is that why you switched now?” Trimbur said with a laugh. “The answer is no.”
Pennsylvania also played Ohio from 1972-76. All combined, Ohio led the series, 13-12.
Pennsylvania's opponent has varied since the game began in 1958, including Texas for four years in the mid-1960s.
The Big 33 matchups are scheduled in five-year increments, so Maryland will remain through at least 2017.
Ohio was willing to maintain the series, Trimbur said, but Big 33 organizers considered Ohio, New York and New Jersey before choosing Maryland.
“If Maryland didn't have the talent they have, we wouldn't have done it,” Trimbur said.
Maryland had four players ranked among Rivals' Top 100 this season, led by Eastern Christian Academy defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow, a USC recruit ranked No. 12. Pennsylvania also had four.
Rosters for next summer's game, which features this fall's seniors, have not been determined.
Beaver joined the 600 club with last week's 35-13 victory over Ellwood City, becoming the 10th WPIAL program to reach the milestone. The Bobcats, which started playing football in 1904, are 600-378-55.
Next to reach 600 could be McKeesport, which has 596 wins since 1900.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.