Big 33 Game moving to Cumberland Valley’s Chapman Field
Written by: Big 33 Staff on August 21, 2023.
Garry Cathell, PSFCA Big 33 Nicole Whitmire, PSFCA Big 33
(724) 747-1138 (717) 856-7566
PENNSYLVANIA SCHOLASTIC FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION (PSFCA) ANNOUNCES
CUMBERLAND VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL AS NEW HOST VENUE FOR THE 2024 BIG 33 FOOTBALL CLASSIC
Deep appreciation to Dauphin County Commissioners, Bishop McDevitt and
other county supporters for their incredible leadership, commitment and funding
Mechanicsburg, Pa. – Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) is announcing an opportunity for growth, new funding, additional host families and a new venue for the 2024 PSFCA Big 33 Football Classic to be held for the first time at Cumberland Valley High School’s (CVHS) Chapman Field and facilities on Memorial Day weekend. PSFCA applauds all of the Dauphin County Commissioners for their leadership, unwavering support and financial backing since PSFCA took over the historic game seven years ago.
Garry Cathell, Executive Director of the PSFCA Big 33 said, “We have been given an opportunity to move the game(s) to Cumberland Valley High School, where the PIAA is now successfully hosting the State Championship Football Games. We are excited and look forward to creating more opportunities to engage young sports fans, veterans and military, buddy families, host families, alumni, and beyond. It also allows us to house everything under one roof, with easy access to all indoor/outdoor, sports training facilities and adds vital parking. We also hope to attract more host families who are located nearby, expand staff and volunteer support and acquire additional funding. Every year, the game continues to reach new heights and capacity has been growing in all aspects of our program, thus we are blessed to have this new opportunity to fulfill all of our diverse needs.”
Big 33 Memorial Day Weekend events currently are slated to start on Wednesday, May 22nd and conclude on Memorial Day Sunday, May 26th with the 67th Big 33 Football Classic known as the “Super Bowl of High School Football.” Pennsylvania and Maryland players and cheerleaders will all practice at Cumberland Valley High School. Other special events being planned over the holiday weekend for CVHS include: Big 33 Buddy Day, Big 33 Pep Rally, Big 33 Recognition Program, Big 33 Fan Fest, military participation and family-friendly activities.
“We are proud to highlight our extraordinary, high-achieving, talented student athletes for one of the ultimate games in high school football. We look forward to the upcoming game featuring these future collegiate and NFL stars. Beyond the high-energy annual football match up, we enjoy offering our exceptional big-hearted buddies with special needs a fun, meaningful experience to team up with the players and cheerleaders, often cultivating life-long friendships. We hope sports fans of all ages will once again join us for a weekend filled with family events, military recognition, spectacular football and more,” Cathell went onto say.
“We are honored to open up our first-class sports facilities to Big 33 all-stars, cheerleaders, buddies, coaches and participants for this esteemed Memorial Day event and Football Classic. We are thrilled to partner to host this year’s Big 33 Football Classic and will work to promote this special experience with all of our area families and businesses and beyond,” said Michael Willis, Director of Finance and Operations at CVSD. “Thank you to the event organizers and volunteers, especially Garry Cathell and the Big 33 organization, for making this event happen and for having trust in us, in our facilities, and in our abilities to host a top-notch event.”
PA Senator Mike Regan added, “It is exciting news that Cumberland County will be the new host for the Big 33 Football Classic at Cumberland Valley High School. This game has been a staple in the Central Pennsylvania community for decades. Big 33 has provided over $2.7 million dollars annually in economic impact in our region while also instilling the values of community, teamwork and leadership.”
“The Big 33 is more than a football game. While it is best known as ‘The Super Bowl of High School Football’ this game also includes a military appreciation and a heartwarming buddy program. These aspects help Big 33 transcend athletics leaving a lasting social and economic imprint on our region. I am proud to say that the Big 33 is headquartered in my senatorial district and I look forward to the future of this game and continuing the tradition and social impact,” Regan said.
PSFCA East West all-stars will play their Big School and Small School All-Star football games at Chapman Field on Sunday, May 19th (Times TBD). These games will feature seniors from Pennsylvania, as well as All-Star cheerleaders.
Mike Craig, Athletic Director at Cumberland Valley School District added, “We are truly proud and privileged to host the Big 33 Football Classic and festivities. We enjoyed having a few practices here in the Spring and look forward to continuing to enhance the overall experience for everyone involved, including upholding the outstanding tradition of excellence that Big 33 brings to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We hope to attract additional partners to support this important event that enriches the lives and experiences for many exceptional youth.”
For the past decade, PSFCA teamed up with Dauphin County leaders who have been extraordinary and committed cheerleaders for the Big 33 Football Classic. “We cannot express our appreciation and gratitude enough to the Commissioners and Dauphin County for their long-standing, steadfast support. We also wish to thank Bishop McDevitt for being a wonderful host the past two years. The long-term goal of the PSFCA Big 33 has always been to grow the Big 33 Football Classic and events,” Cathell said.
“We welcome this special opportunity to showcase our County and the entire Central PA region to visitors, players, participants and families. The impact Big 33 has on the Mid-State extends beyond economics; it leaves lasting memories and builds life-long relationships between buddies, players, cheerleaders and host families. So many fans look forward to witnessing this prestigious game right in our backyard annually. We are thrilled to join forces to open up our restaurants, hotels, entertainment sites and more to everyone and value the economic impact it will have on Cumberland County,” says Patrick Bourque, the Destination Sales Manager for the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau/Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation.
For more information, go to big33.org or follow them on Facebook @Big33FootballClassic, Instagram @PFSCABig33FootballClassic or on Twitter @psfcabig33. Some well-known Big 33 alumni and NFL greats include: Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Ricky Waters, Ben Roethlisberger, Kyle Brady, Miles Sanders, Jordan Hill, and Damar Hamlin. Money raised from the game helps support all PSFCA Big 33 programs, including the Big 33 Buddy Program which connects individuals with special needs with all-star athletes in football, cheerleading and beyond. Proceeds also assist in supporting military appreciation aspects of the Memorial Day Weekend. Big 33 PA and MD Players will stay with host families again this year. The Big 33 Buddy Program is designed to partner youth with special needs with a Big 33 cheerleader or football player. Cheer buddies participate in the halftime routine. All buddies enjoy time with their players and cheerleaders during Big 33 weekend. Any potential host families or buddies or interested sponsors can contact Nicole Whitmire at email@example.com.