This week, Ligonier Valley offensive lineman Michael Petrof received one of the most significant honors a local high school football player can earn.
Petrof was picked to compete in the 63rd edition of the prestigious Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Big 33 Football Classic, which will take place May 25 at Central Dauphin’s Landis Field in Lower Paxton Township.
“I feel honored to be selected to the Big 33 Classic,” Petrof wrote on Twitter. “I want to thank everyone who congratulated me.”
Petrof, who will continue his career at the United States Naval Academy, was named to the Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 2A All-State Team this past season. He was also named a Pennsylvania Football News Second Team All-State defensive lineman in 2018.
Petrof, the son of Karl and Anne Petrof of Ligonier, is a four-year starter and letter-winner, and two-year captain at Ligonier Valley. Petrof finished his LV career with 227 tackles, including 35 for loss, 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, three recoveries and three blocked kicks.
“Mike’s selection is the final exclamation point added to an outstanding high school career,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said. “His selection is a great reflection of his work ethic and the hard work he invests in his development as a player.”
Petrof was part of a senior class that won 51 games, more than any other class in school history. He helped Ligonier Valley capture PIAA District 6 Class 2A championships in 2016 and ’17, and advance to the state semifinals and quarterfinals in those respective seasons. LV won four consecutive Appalachian Bowl and District 6 Heritage Conference championships.
The Rams finished out play in the Heritage Conference on a 37-game winning streak and reached the District 6 Class 2A championship game before falling to Richland.
Ligonier Valley officially joined the WPIAL in all athletic programs for the 2020-21 school year.
The Big 33 is the top All-Star football game in the state, featuring two 38-member teams of high school standouts from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Greater Latrobe standout lineman Trent Holler (East Carolina) was picked last year, while former Ligonier Valley tight end Alec Bloom (Connecticut) competed in the 2014 edition of the Big 33 Football Classic. Ligonier Valley’s Tim Clark was also selected to the Big 33 Football Classic as a kicker in 1981, making Petrof the third in school history to play in the prestigious All-Star game.
The event is dubbed the “Super Bowl of High School Football,” as the Big 33 has a unique connection with the Super Bowl. All 54 Super Bowl matchups have included at least one former player from the high school football All-Star game.
Money raised from the game supports the Big 33 Buddy program, which connects kids with special needs to all-star athletes in football, cheerleading and more.