Ricky Ortega and Dapree Bryant played four football seasons together for the Coatesville Red Raiders.
The dynamic duo will continue their partnership at the next level, as both have signed to attend Villanova on football scholarships.
But first, Ortega and Bryant are expected to be members of the Pennsylvania squad in the Big 33 Football Classic’s 63rd game.
Ortega, a record-setting quarterback, and Bryant, a record-setting wide receiver, are among nine players from Southeastern Pennsylvania who on Wednesday were chosen to play for the Pennsylvania team on Memorial Day, May 25, at Central Dauphin School District’s Landis Field in Lower Paxton Township.
The Pennsylvania team will face a team from Maryland in the annual all-star game. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m.
Neshaminy wide receiver Ian Sheehan also was among the local players invited to participate in the game.
“It’s very exciting,” Sheehan said. “I was hoping I would make it, but I wasn’t sure.”
Sheehan noted that among the Big 33 Classic’s claims to fame is that every Super Bowl has included at least one player who participated in the annual all-star event.
“That’s pretty cool,” Sheehan said.
Here’s a closer look at the invited local players:
Ricky Ortega, Coatesville quarterback: He passed for more than 10,200 yards and 129 touchdowns in his career, according to sports historian Chuck Langerman. Ortega was the first quarterback in Pennsylvania history with four 2,000-yard passing seasons. He threw for 2,382 yards and 27 touchdowns last season and also ran for 645 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Dapree Bryant, Coatesville wide receiver: Bryant set Philadelphia-area records for career receptions (194), receiving yards (3,708) and receiving touchdowns (54). Last season, Bryant caught 56 passes for 914 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for 423 yards and seven touchdowns and scored four touchdowns on returns.
Ian Sheehan, Neshaminy wide receiver: A reserve as a junior, he emerged as Neshaminy’s go-to receiver as a senior. He caught 63 passes for 1,256 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has drawn recruiting interest from Rutgers among other programs but is likely to attend a prep school for a year.
Matt McGeary, St. Joseph’s Prep offensive lineman: He was a starter for back-to-back PIAA Class 6A championship teams. He is a Colgate recruit.
Liam Johnson, St. Joseph’s Prep linebacker: He also was a starter for back-to-back PIAA Class 6A championship teams. He finished his career with a flourish, registering five sacks in the state-final victory over Central Dauphin. He is a Princeton recruit.
Tyrell Mims, Martin Luther King defensive back: He registered 17 interceptions in his career and was regard as a “coach on the field” by coach Malik Jones. Mims is a Villanova recruit.
Ryan Savage, La Salle defensive lineman: He was a disruptive force along the front line for the Explorers’ sturdy defense. He made the game-clinching sack in a big win over Imhotep Charter. He is a Princeton recruit.
Dylan Walker, Pope John Paul II tight end: He caught 34 passes for 470 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Panthers. He is a Colorado State recruit.