Brandon Heath is set to participate in the Big 33 Football Classic that counts all-time greats such as Joe Montana, Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino among its alumni.
"It's a huge honor," said Heath, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman from West Chester Henderson. "I've been watching the game since I was a little kid. When the phone call came telling me that I had been selected, me and my parents [Dave and Deb] were so excited."
The 52d annual all-star event, scheduled for tomorrow night at 7 at HersheyPark Stadium, pits some of Pennsylvania's best players against many of Ohio's finest. The Keystone State has won the last three meetings and has a 12-9 series advantage.
Heath, an Inquirer first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania pick last season, will play left tackle for the Pennsylvania squad. He is expected to be joined on the offensive line by fellow area products Mark Arcidiacono (St. Joseph's Prep), Dan Shirey (Neshaminy), and David Osei (Abington).
Among the locals expected to see time on the defensive line are Mike Pinciotti (St. Joseph's Prep), Jay Colbert (Neshaminy) and late addition Nick Garcia (Garnet Valley).
Heath is headed to Delaware. "I don't think I'm going to be redshirted," the 17-year-old said. "More than likely, I'll come in and compete right away for playing time as a right-side tackle."
With an eye toward becoming a high school teacher and football coach, Heath plans to major in history. He will begin classes – and summer workouts – early next month.
Pennsylvania's offensive backfield will feature a pair of fleet-footed performers from West Catholic: quarterback Curtis Drake and running back Rob Hollomon. Drake is ticketed for Penn State, where he is projected as a slot receiver, and Holloman is bound for Cushing Academy, a prep school in Ashburnham, Mass.
Here are the local players on the Big 33 Pennsylvania roster:
Ronnie Akins, North Penn, DB; Mark Arcidiacono, St. Joseph's Prep, OL; Jay Colbert, Neshaminy, DE; Curtis Drake, West Catholic, QB; Nick Garcia, Garnet Valley, DL; Brandon Heath, West Chester Henderson, OL; Rob Hollomon, West Catholic, RB; Brandon McManus, North Penn, K-P; Billy Morgan, Cardinal O'Hara, DB; David Osei, Abington, OL; Mike Pinciotti, St. Joseph's Prep, OL and Dan Shirey, Neshaminy, OL.