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Gateway's Jeter selected to PA Big 33 squad

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
For the Times Express
Gateway senior Todd Jeter is one of 10 WPIAL players on the 2013 PA Big 33 team. Nancy Gillespie | For The Times Express

The 56th Big 33 Football Classic all-star game is in Hershey in June, and 10 WPIAL players are on the Pennsylvania roster.

Included in that group is Gateway senior Todd Jeter.

“This is a big honor for me,” Jeter said. “I feel confident that I can compete with the best players in the state.”

Pennsylvania will face Maryland on June 15 at 7 p.m. at HersheyPark Stadium.

Jeter excelled on both sides of the ball for the Gators this season. He recorded 322 yards receiving and two touchdowns on offense for Gateway, which finished 9-2, won the Quad East title with an 8-0 mark and made the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Quad-A playoffs.

Jeter is listed as a defensive back on the PA roster, and he earned Quad East all-star honors at that position for the 2012 season after making 27 tackles and intercepting two passes.

Jeter said IUP is at the top of his list of collegiate locations to continue his football and academic pursuits. He took a visit to IUP a couple of days ago.

Eastern Kentucky and California University of Pennsylvania also recruited Jeter.

Jeter is the first Gateway player to be selected for the Big 33 since Armstead Williams in 2011.

“We've had a nice run of Big 33 kids,” Gateway head coach Terry Smith said.

“It's a tremendous honor for him. It lets you know how hard he's worked. He led a young secondary that was probably the best secondary as a whole in the state. He was actually rated as the top cornerback on the board when the (PA team) was chosen.”

Jeter is no stranger to all-star football, as he joined several other Gateway seniors at the Chesapeake Bowl in Landover, Md., on Dec. 29.

The North squad, led by several WPIAL players and others from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, defeated the South, 38-13.

Also set to play in the Big 33 game from the WPIAL are Seneca Valley's Forrest Barnes (running back) and Dean Ketterer (offensive line), Woodland Hills' Alex Beasley (linebacker), Clairton's Tyler Boyd (wide receiver) and Titus Howard (defensive back), Washington's Jaylin Kelly (linebacker), North Allegheny's Mack Leftwich (quarterback), West Mifflin's Marcus Martin (defensive end) and Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson (offensive line).

More than a dozen Gateway players have capped off their senior years by playing in the Big 33 game.

The trend started in 2004 when Mortty Ivy and Jai Wilson were selected.

In 2006, David Williams made waves for the Pennsylvania team, as he caught touchdown passes of 38, 25 and 22 yards to earn Most Valuable Player honors in Pennsylvania's 61-42 triumph.

Pennsylvania is hoping to snap a four-game losing streak in the Big 33 Football Classic.

After 14 years of games against all-star teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania made the switch in October and will return to a series against Maryland.

Ohio won the final four meetings in its series with Pennsylvania, including the 2012 game, 24-21, in overtime.

The 2011 game was a blowout, won by Ohio, 50-14.

There has never been a Big 33 game played that didn't feature at least one player who went on to play in a Super Bowl.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at

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