Cade Pribula received a cherry on top of his senior football sundae on Thursday.
The Central York High School quarterback, who threw for 2,872 yards and 31 touchdowns in the fall and officially committed to NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Delaware in December, was selected to play in the Big 33 Classic.
"I was so excited when I found out," Pribula said. "Big 33 is something I've always dreamed of being a part of. There is nothing like representing Pennsylvania and playing the sport that I love."
Pribula was the only player from the York-Adams League selected for the game, which is chosen by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association. Four other York County players, however, did get picked for the East-West game, which is also organized by PSFCA.
"I think that’s the ultimate prize, to be selected in that game," said Central head coach Josh Oswalt. "I've been a football coach for nine years and have coached some really good football players, but I've never had a kid selected for the Big 33 game. He was honored and very excited when he found out."
Record-breaking 2018 season: The 6-foot, 1-inch, 200-pound signal caller orchestrated a high-powered Panthers offense that went 8-3 and made the District 3 playoffs. Pribula was an all-state selection following his record-breaking campaign.
Despite losing all of his receivers from his junior year to graduation, the first-team York-Adams League Division I quarterback completed 144 of 224 pass attempts for a league-leading 2,872 yards — a Y-A record. The senior tossed 31 touchdowns with only eight interceptions for the most prolific passing attack in Y-A D-I. The shifty QB also added seven scores with his legs.
Pribula will leave Central as the all-time passing leader in Y-A history. He threw for more than 1,800 yards in each of his last three seasons.
He suffered a a separated shoulder and a torn labrum at the end of the season, but he said his surgery and rehabbing have been successful and that he plans to play in the game.
About the Big 33: The all-star game, which now pits the top high school seniors in Pennsylvania and Maryland against each other, has a rich tradition among football fans in the commonwealth. Played since 1957, the contest has showcased numerous future college and NFL stars, including Joe Namath, Marvin Harrison and Ben Roethlisberger. In fact, at least one Big 33 alumnus has played in every Super Bowl in NFL history.
"To be a quarterback selected for the game, you’re in there with some really good company in the past," Oswalt said. "You couldn’t select a better kid. He’s a really good football player, but he's an even better kid. He’ll be a great representative of the state and of Central York."
"Its extremely humbling," said Pribula about being grouped with some of the state's best. "There are a lot of great quarterbacks to have come out of Pennsylvania."
Pennsylvania has won three straight Big 33 Classics over Maryland, including a 44-33 victory last season at Landis Field in Harrisburg.
This year's Big 33 Classic will be on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, at Landis Field. Kickoff is 2 p.m. Former Penn State standout Bruce Clark will serve as the game's honorary chair.
East/West game: The participants in the East/West all-star game were also announced on Thursday, with four local players making the team.
York High's Dayjure Stewart and Rob Rideout and Dallastown's Raymond Christas and Nyzair Smith will represent the Y-A League on the West team. All four players were all-state selections and Division I first-team all-stars.
York High duo: Stewart was the bellcow for York High in its best football season in at least 30 years. The 6-0, 200-pound running back averaged 11 yards per carry for a Bearcats team that went 11-2, shared the Division I title and advanced to the District 3 semifinals. He broke the Y-A single-season rushing record with his 3,045 yards and the District 3 single-game rushing record with a 468-yard performance against Northern York. Last week, Stewart committed to FCS Illinois State, which plays in the competitive Missouri Valley Conference with powerhouse North Dakota State, on a full-ride scholarship.
Rideout, who committed earlier this week to play wide receiver at Division II Millersville, is a two-time all-state selection at defensive back. The 6-0, 170-pound senior totaled 84.5 tackles, intercepted four passes and had 20 pass break-ups. While Rideout was an all-state selection as a defensive back, he was also the Bearcats' second-best offensive player. He caught 28 passes for 886 yards and totaled 483 yards on 37 carries. He totaled 21 touchdowns, scoring on about a third of his touches.
Dallastown duo: Smith, a two-time all-state running back, was second in the league in rushing behind Stewart. The 5-10, 187-pound senior totaled 1,985 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry and 25 touchdowns.
Without the 6-2, 260-pound Christas, however, Smith's success may not have been possible. Christas, the Wildcats' center, was arguably the best two-way lineman in the league this season. He led Dallastown's fast-paced offense as the "quarterback" of the offensive line, while tallying 49 tackles and 6.5 sacks as a defensive tackle.
The two players haven't committed to play college football yet. Smith has some D-I interest, while Christas is looking mostly at Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference colleges.
The East/West Game is on 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at Altoona’s Mansion Park Stadium.
Local coaches to help lead teams: Littlestown head coach Mike Lippy will join Pribula at the Big 33 Classic. The Thunderbolts' leader is an assistant coach for the Pennsylvania team.
Littlestown went 7-4 this season and made the District 3 playoffs.
While every Y-A player is on the West team, Northeastern head coach Joe Scepanski is an assistant coach for the East squad.
The Bobcats went 5-6 in 2018 and made the District 3 playoffs.
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