HERSHEY — Jim Morgans is an old-school kind of football coach, devoted to a Wing-T offense that is light on gimmicks and improvisation and heavy on fundamentally sound players who do what they’re told.

But the Parkland High School gridiron boss is not so old-school that he won’t take into consideration what the fans who’ll file into Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday evening for the 51st Big 33 Football Classic want to see.

In addition to a third straight Pennsylvania win over Ohio in the nation’s most storied high school football all-star game, Keystone State head coach Morgans knows those in attendance want to see Pa.’s best show off their athleticism in a wide-open offense that’s as entertaining as it is productive.

Good news, people. Looks like you’ll get your wish sometime soon after the opening kickoff, which is slated for 7 p.m. The contest will be televised live on CN8. As you may have heard a few million times over the years, there has never been a Super Bowl that did not include a Big 33 alumnus.

“It’s different. It’s a lot of fun,” Morgans said yesterday, following a morning practice at Hershey High School, of the attack that Pennsylvania plans to bring to the field Saturday night. “It’s certainly not my offense. We have a pretty wide-open offense. I think we have (skill players). We’ve got kids that can run and do some pretty amazing things.”

Among those athletes


at Morgans’ disposal are running backs Mike Jones (Bishop McDevitt) and Eric Reynolds (Central Bucks South), who are bound for Syracuse and Boston College, respectively, and quarterback and Pitt recruit Tino Sunseri, who led Pittsburgh Central Catholic to the Class AAAA state title last fall with a 21-0 win over Morgans’ Parkland squad.

In addition, there are six future Penn Staters on the Keystone State squad, including Manheim Township kicker David Soldner, who expects to walk on at Happy Valley.

Soldner and Jones are two of eight District Three representatives on the team, along with Muhlenberg wide receiver Vaughn Carraway (Temple), Trinity lineman R.J. Dill (Maryland), Central York lineman Wayne Luis Tribue (Temple) and Harrisburg teammates Brandon Ware, Josh Potts and Adrian Robinson, a trio of defensive studs. Ware is headed to Penn State, Potts to Villanova and Robinson to Temple.

In all, it’s a group that Morgans believes can continue Pennsylvania’s winning ways against an Ohio squad that figures to be formidable despite the fact that the Big 33 again conflicts with Ohio’s North-South all-star clash.

“It’s coming together,” said Morgans. “I’m pretty optimistic about our kids’ ability to learn what we’re trying to get across to them. They’ve just gotta polish things up, tie the loose ends together, and I think we’ll be all right.”

Like most teams and their coaches, the 2008 Pennsylvania group is also thoroughly enjoying the extracurricular and altruistic aspects of the Big 33, including the Buddy program and the visits to area hospitals.

But Morgans and his players are also mindful of the ultimate goal of Big 33 week, which is to walk off the field Saturday night with a win.

“That’s what we’re here for,” said Morgans. “Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. There’s a lot of other things that go on that are unbelievable. Taking care of the physically challenged, the special needs kids, visiting hospitals. That’s all very touching. And to see how into it our kids get, that’s great.

“But we’re here to win a football game, and our kids know that. There’s a bunch of competitive people here, and (Ohio) has competitive people. That’s the bottom line when we strap it on Saturday night. That’s what it comes down to.”