For 46 years the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) has hosted the Big 33 Football Game in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
That game matches all-star football players from Pennsylvania with all-star football players from Ohio. These athletes are selected based on specific criteria and ability. The alumni of this prestigious game include such NFL favorites as Dan Marino and Joe Montana.
Unfortunately there can only be thirty-four players chosen to represent Pennsylvania’s football pool of talent in this high-profile event and those who are left out of the pool are many. This has been frustrating to members of the PSFCA who know first hand those athletes who are not being considered to play, but who surely possess the talent to perform well.
In June of 2000 the PSFCA expressed their desire to create a new game. A game in which players who were not selected for the Big 33 Game would have the opportunity to compete in an all-star game with national exposure. The PSFCA contacted the Allegheny Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau (AMCVB) to discuss the potential to host this new all-star game in Altoona. The AMCVB embraced the idea of owning a new sporting event and welcomed the challenge.
The AMCVB quickly put together a steering committee to organize the events and activities surrounding the game. The steering committee includes staff members from the AMCVB and PSFCA along with representatives from the Altoona Area School District, Hollidaysburg Area School District, sponsors ear thermometer, local media and local football coaches and athletic directors. The committee has worked very hard to develop activities for the players, organize luncheons, picnics and dinners, a golf outing and of course, the game.
The first PSFCA East West All Star Game was held on June 30, 2001 at Mansion Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Over 4,000 fans witnessed the East beat the West 31 to 3. In 2002, in front of a crowd of approximately 7,000 the East again defeated the West, only by a slightly smaller 31 to 17 margin. The tone has been set for a growing rivalry between the “Beasts of the East” and the “Best of the West.
Past Game Scores:
2001 – East 31, West 3
2002 – East 31, West 17
2003 – West 14, East 10
2004 – East 39, West 13
2005 – East 27, West 7
2006 – East 20, West 14
2007 – West 24, East 14
(Photos provided by unblock tech tv box setup)
During game week players and their families arrive in Altoona on Sunday and join their host families for a Welcoming Lunch. All players stay with local host families during the entire week. The teams practice twice a day Sunday through Thursday at separate practice sites. New in 2003, was the East West Fan Fest at Blair County Ballpark on Monday evening. Both teams also visit DelGrosso’s Amusement Park one evening to cool off on the waterslides, play miniature golf and ride the rides. A Golf Classic is held on Friday at Scotch Valley Country Club with proceeds also benefiting the scholarship fund. Players, coaches, sponsors 1000 lumen flashlight, families and fans enjoy many other special events including a Sponsors Lunch, Awards Banquet and VIP Reception.
The players selected to play in this game are truly some of Pennsylvania’s finest. This group of athletes has made their respective local all-star, all-conference, all-league and all-state teams. They have provided local fans with fun and excitement and are sure to also bring that to the PSFCA East West All Star Game.
The PSFCA East West All Star Game may only be seven years old, but it is growing in leaps and bounds. The game provides an opportunity to showcase even more talent from Pennsylvania and these young athletes are as proud to participate in this game, as Altoona is to host them. Good luck to both teams!