The annual Big 33 Football Game, which pits some of Maryland’s top seniors against some of Pennsylvania’s top seniors, sometimes includes Harford County athletes and sometimes not.
This year, though, two Harford County seniors, John Carroll’s Roman Hemby and Fallston’s Kevin Roberts are both members of Team Maryland and both are excited to be a part.
Unlike past years, when players might have attended some sort of workout sessions to gain spots on the roster, this year’s selection, because of COVID, was different.
“I don’t know how they do it on a normal year, but I know this year, it was based off past film and stuff like that,” Hemby said. Hemby, a 6-foot, 195-pound running back, is committed to the University of Maryland.
Hemby says the head coach for this year’s team (Mike Neubeiser) had seen some film of him and he reached out to Hemby a long time ago. “He was very impressed with my game, so time went on and my high school coach (Ken Brinkman), I guess nominated me,” Hemby said.
Hemby says he was asked about playing and it was a no-brainer. “Of course I said yes. Not only is it a honorable game to be able to play in, that has many games under their belt, it goes way back in history and it’s very special to be a part of something like that.”
In two full seasons as a member of John Carroll’s varsity football, he rushed for 1,557 yards and 19 touchdowns on 213 carries. He also caught 45 passes for 594 yards and six touchdowns.
Defensively, Hemby added 129 tackles and five interceptions.
Roberts, who is yet to commit, will do the kicking for Team Maryland.
“When I heard the news I was so excited. This is really special to me because we didn’t get to have a football season in Harford County,” Roberts said. “To put on pads one last time as a high school player will be pretty cool. I am honored to be representing Fallston High School and Maryland and understand the rich tradition that comes along with playing in a game like this.”
Roberts, (5-9, 145), played just one year on the Cougars varsity football team as a junior. In the kicking, Roberts was 28-of-35 on extra point attempts and he made all three all three field goals attempted.
“With the cancellation of a year’s worth of sports…football, baseball and basketball season’s for me, I really challenged myself both academically and on the field, working hard everyday to get to this point,” Roberts said. “I’m very thankful to have this opportunity and appreciate the Big 33 selection committee for recognizing all that hard work.”
Over this past summer and fall, Roberts has attended a number of camps and he’s posted videos on Twitter showing his range with 10-of-10, 50-yard field goals made. His long is 55 yards.
Roberts says recruiting has started to accelerate recently. “So far, two D1 offers, Bryant and Long Island Universities. For now, I am keeping all my options open and remain uncommitted,” Roberts said.
The 64th annual Big 33 Game is scheduled to be played on Memorial Day in Harrisburg, Pa.
“I know Team Maryland is going to want to beat Team Pa and Team Pa is going to want to beat Team Maryland, so I know every time I step on the field, I have to have the mindset to want to succeed,” Hemby said. “Every time I go out on the field I want to do something special, I want to make a name for myself, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I was out there attempting to score touchdowns and running down the sideline cheering everybody else on as well.”