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Impressive history of the Big 33

Can the Big 33 regain its luster?

Big 33 Executive Director Dave Trimbur answered questions about the future of the Big 33 football game and its foundation:

Q: Will we ever see the day the Big 33 has a sponsor with naming rights?

A: No. I think you'll start to see (the big high school all-star games) going in the opposite way. I think what people are finding out as economically times have changed, sponsorship is not what it used to be. You hear, how can we put out $100,000 for a game when we are laying people off?

Q: Could the game still be scheduled for May in 2016?

A: I don't know if we'll see a change in 2016.

Q: Is it still an option to move the game outside of Hershey?

A: It's still an option, but it's kind of like a Catch 22. The state finals are also played in Hershey, kids know Hershey. Not many people play there, and you have Hersheypark. ... Our infrastructure is in this market with our special needs kids and our host families. It's not a one-day event. The public sees it as an event Saturday from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. They don't see everything else that goes behind it.

Q: Why do we see the Big 33 involved in baseball (Big 26) and basketball (Big 13)?

A: In order for us to thrive, we had to do other things because football can't fund a foundation. ... It's not another moneymaker, it's another funding source. We did what we needed to do for our buddy programs and our scholarships.

Q: What's the benefit of starting baseball and basketball all-star games?

A: The difference between football and the other sports are these are actually sophomores and juniors whereas football is seniors. The sports governing bodies in Pennsylvania and Maryland are very behind us because they see the value. The kids playing in the Big 33 already have their rides. Our games in the other sports, this is how they're getting more exposure. ... As we continue to do this, girls' softball will probably be the next one.

Q: So the move into multiple sports was needed to help the foundation?

A: It's to help the foundation to continue to be a foundation. But it also gives us additional athletes for our special needs buddies to participate in the program because there were only so many football players to be paired up.

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