Four selected for Big 33 Football Classic

Published Feb 3, 2014 at 11:42 am (Updated Feb 3, 2014 at 11:42 am)

Four area athletes have been selected to play in the 57th Big 33 Football Classic set to kick off at 7:06 p.m. June 14 at Hershey Park Stadium. The prestigious event pits the finest players in Pennsylvania against the top seniors from Maryland.

Ben Huss of Upper St. Clair and Michael Grimm from Bethel Park join Mt. Lebanon’s Alex Bookser and Troy Apke on the 33-member Pennsylvania roster. All garnered all-state recognition as well as all-conference acclaim for their past senior seasons. Plus, all were adversaries, competing the Southeastern Conference.

A 6-1, 190 pound Penn State recruit, Apke ranked No. 2 in the league with 40 receptions for 748 yards and seven scores. He also rushed for one touchdown and returned a kickoff for another.

Additionally, he led Lebo in tackles with 59, one interception and four pass breakups on defense. He handled the punting duties for the Blue Devils. Plus, he excelled on special teams, averaging 27 yards per kickoff return and 15.6 yards per punt return.

Though double-teamed throughout the season, Bookser made an impact on every play for Lebo. The 6-5, 295-pound defensive tackle led the unit with 38 tackles, seven for losses, and supplied three sacks. A three-year starter and two-way performer, he also anchored the Blue Devils’ offensive line. Bookser will continue his career at the University of Pittsburgh, where his former high school coach, Chris Hearing, is an assistant coach.

Grimm is also bound for Pitt. The 6-6, 308-pound offensive tackle dominated both sides of the line for Bethel Park, which posted a 6-4 overall record and advanced to the WPIAL Quad-A playoffs. Strong and athletic, he had the ability to handle opponents’ best players, says his coach Jeff Metheny.

Meanwhile, Huss was one of the best players that rival coaches, like Metheny, competed against. The 6-3, 275-pound tackle is a Duquesne University prospect.

A two-way starter, he anchored an offensive line that produced both a 1,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher. He was a mainstay on a defense that posted six shutouts, including five in a row. Individually, he posted 46 tackles and added nine more for losses

Huss helped USC to back-to-back Final Four showings and an appearance in the WPIAL Quad-A championship game during his varsity career. USC won three conference titles and posted a 32-5 mark during that span.

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