Did you know that there’s never been a Super Bowl played without a former Big 33 Football Classic player on one of the team’s rosters? That’s right, one of the most incredible streaks in high school football is alive-and-well after Sunday’s AFC and NFC Championship games.
For those of you not familiar with the Big 33 (as it’s affectionately know), it’s an all-star high school football game played annually in Pennsylvania since 1958. Over the years, Pennsylvania high school all-stars have squared-off against all-star teams from Maryland, Ohio and Texas. On other occasions, Pennsylvania has faced an all-USA team.
Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, Florida on February 7th will feature four former Big 33 players, including Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Bret Veach, who played for the Pennsylvania All-Stars in the 1997 game after an outstanding high school career at Mt. Carmel High School.
Veach will be joined by Chiefs’ backup quarterback Chad Henne, who played for the PA All-Stars in 2004, representing Wilson High School out of West Lawn, Pennsylvania and rookie offensive lineman Yasir Durant, who played scholastically at Imhotep Charter High School in Philadelphia. Durant played in the 2016 Big 33 game. Chiefs’ defensive end Frank Clark was a Big 33 star for Ohio from Glenville High School in the 2011 game.
The game would have featured a fifth Big 33 alum if Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ center A.Q. Shipley hadn’t suffered a career-ending injury near the end of the regular season. Shipley played for the Pennsylvania squad in 2004, representing Moon High School. In that game, Shipley was snapping the ball to Henne.
The streak started when Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Herb Adderley played for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I. Adderley was a Big 33’er from Northeast High School in Philadelphia.