The Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association has chosen Woodland Hills High School running back/linebacker Alex Beasley as a member of Team Pennsylvania for the Big 33 Football Classic this June.
The team is made up of senior all-stars from around the commonwealth. Pennsylvania will play Team Maryland, another group of all-stars, at Hersheypark Stadium on June 15 at 7:06 p.m. in the 56th version of this game.
The 6-foot, 240-pound Beasley was added to the roster as an inside linebacker—one of just two from the entire state.
"You're talking over 500 schools in the state," said George Novak, Beasley's head coach at Woodland Hills High. "And you're talking the best 33 players (34 including a kicker).
"We had two players—Alex Beasley and (senior offensive lineman) Jawan Turner—(who) were the two leaders on our football team this (past) year, and what I say about one I say about the other.
"They were the first two guys I ever named captain before the season started. I knew they were gonna be the leaders. Since they were in ninth grade, you could tell they were leaders. They were the hardest-working players on the team.
"They just developed a chemistry on this team that was special and helped us achieve far more than anybody thought we could achieve with the team we had."
Woody High finished the 2012 regular season at 6-2 in the WPIAL AAAA's ultracompetitive and newly formed Southeastern Conference—good for third place—before winning three straight playoffs game to reach Heinz Field and the WPIAL championship game, including back-to-back upsets of Gateway and Upper St. Clair high schools.
And the Wolverines' season ended only with a 21-14 loss to the eventual state champions from North Allegheny High School.
Beasley was a three-year starter for Woodland Hills, including this past year when he earned selection to an all-conference team for the second straight season. He was on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's all-east team and the Pennsylvania Sports Writers all-state team, as well.
Beasley is being recruited by Duquesne University, The Citadel, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and California University of Pennsylvania, according to Novak. He has not yet committed to a college.
At least one alumnus of the Big 33 Football Classic has played in every Super Bowl to date, and that tradition will continue with 2013's Super Bowl XLVII. As many as two Big 33 alumni will play in that game.
The Big 33 Classic has been played as Pennsylvania vs. Ohio in recent memory, but Maryland and Texas have been Pennsylvania's opponents before, as well. The game has also been played as Pennsylvania all-stars from one half of the state vs. the other.
Maryland last played Pennsylvania in 1992. Maryland's last win in the series (6-2 in PA's favor) came in 1991.
The Big 33's organizers are looking for cheerleaders for the game. Click here for information on how to try out.