Category: Milford Mill Academy
After two state title game losses, Milford Mill's Obasi hopes to taste final victory in Big 33 Football Classic
by Derek Toney
For a high school athlete, winning a championship in his or her senior season is arguably the ultimate.
Ugo Obasi can only imagine. The recent Milford Mill Academy graduate had two opportunities eluded him in excruciating fashion during this past athletic season. Saturday evening, Obasi has a chance to complete his final season on a high note at the 58th Big 33 Football Classic in Pennsylvania.
“It’s definitely a honor,” said Obasi, a wide receiver. “It means so much to Maryland.”
It’s the fifth straight year some of the Free State’s gridiron best will take on Pennsylvania’s best in the legendary senior football game dubbed “The Super Bowl of High School Football.”
The University of Virginia-bound Obasi is hoping for a shining moment or two after heartache. Last fall, Milford Mill lost Frederick County’s Linganore, 28-27, in the Class 3A final at Navy. The Lancers scored the winning touchdown with 14 seconds left in regulation.
Milford Mill led 19-0 in the first half.
“It was the best game I’ve ever played in. We just couldn’t find what we needed to stop them,” said Obasi, who caught three passes for 63 yards. “We just couldn’t match them in the second half.”
Obasi was the top reserve (was full-time starter season before) for the Miller boys’ basketball squad that spent most of the winter in VSN’s Top 10. The Baltimore County school advanced to the 3A state final against defending champ Poly.
Trailing by 11 points in the fourth quarter, Milford Mill had a chance to tie or win at the end of regulation. The Millers were unable to get a final shot.
Poly 49, Milford Mill 47.
“We couldn’t hit anything at all,” said Obasi, who was on the floor in the closing seconds (finished with 13 points and nine rebounds). “Everything was going to bad and we had to find a different way.”
Obasi could barely speak in the postgame press conference. He said the football loss “hurt a little more especially being up 19-0.”
Milford Mill football coach Reggie White was impressed with how Obasi handled both outcomes.
“He lost two with little time on the clock. He takes a special person to bounce back from that and continue the everyday grind,” said White “I credit that to his maturity and his family.”
Basketball was Obasi’s first love growing up. White said a couple of his assistants saw him playing basketball at the start of his freshman year.
“It was a long courting process,” said White. “I saw his athleticism.”
“I really didn’t want to play football at first. I was really good at basketball,” Obasi said. “Coach [White] kept pushing me in 10th grade to go out and see how it would go.”
Obasi started on junior varsity but was promoted to varsity before the end of the 2015 season. He caught 49 passes for 939 yards and 13 touchdowns, earning first-team honors on the Baltimore County Football Coaches Association team. Last fall, Obasi finished with 35 catches for 717 yards and 11 touchdowns, helping Milford Mill advance to its first state final since 1987.
“He had to learn the sport. He hadn’t been watching it with his daddy since he was a baby,” said White. Obasi, who boasted a 3.9 grade point average, netted nearly 40 scholarship offers last year before committing to Virginia last summer.
“He (Obasi) trains like an animal. He wants to play,” said White. “He got a hunger to complete things which will serve him in life.”
Obasi said winning the Big 33 Saturday isn’t as important as showing off his talents for the Cavalier coaches. He’ll be the highest-rated senior prospect (19th in final Rivals.com Maryland Top 30) playing for Team Maryland Saturday.
It would be poetic if Maryland wins Saturday and Obasi scores the winning touchdown.
“I’ll run on the field and snatch his helmet,” said White.
BIG 33 FOOTBALL CLASSIC
When: Saturday June 16
Where: Landis Field, Central Dauphin Middle School, Harrisburg, PA
Series: Pennsylvania leads 11-2 (Pennsylvania defeated Maryland, 44-33, last year)
TEAM MARYLAND (Baltimore-area players in bold)
1 - Ugo Obasi, Wide receiver, Milford Mill Academy, Virginia, 6-2, 182
2 - Alfonzo Graham, Wide receiver, Dunbar, Arizona Western, 5-8, 171
3 - Terrell Smith, Defensive back, St. Frances Academy, St. Francis University, 5-10, 170
4 - Antwan Squire, Running back, Suitland, Shepherd, 5-9, 185
5 - Demetri Morsell, Linebacker, Henry A. Wise, Bowie State, 6-0, 170
6 - Rudy Ngougni, Defensive back, Montgomery Blair, Notre Dame of Ohio, 6-2, 236
7 - William Luckey, Linebacker, Potomac, Fort Scott, 6-2, 244
8 - Shaun Tolbert, Linebacker, Dunbar, Bowie State, 6-1, 225
9 - Ehizele Akojie, Defensive back, Henry A. Wise, Army, 6-2, 195
10 - Jamari Jones, Wide receiver, Archbishop Spalding, Merrimack, 5-7, 150
11 - Anthony May, Wide receiver, Meade, Alderson Broaddus, 6-6, 195
12 - Tyler Holley, Quarterback, Perry Hall, Morgan State, 6-4, 190
14 - Christian Benford, Defensive back, Randallstown, Villanova, 6-0, 180
15 - Donta Anthony, Tight end, Potomac, Old Dominion, 6-5, 240
16 - Kendall Bonner, Quarterback, Quince Orchard, Air Force, 6-0, 210
17 - DeShawn Ruffin, Wide receiver, Edmondson, Charleston, 6-0, 182
19 - Anthony Childress, Linebacker, Suitland, Georgetown, 6-0, 210
21 - Brandon Savage, Defensive back, Milford Mill Academy, Norfolk State, 5-11, 160
22 - Julius Chestnut, Running back, Archbishop Spalding, Sacred Heart, 5-10, 210
23 - Jahlil Brown, Defensive back, St. Frances Academy, Central Connecticut State, 6-0, 175
24 - Cooper McGeehan, Kicker, River Hill, Pittsburgh, 6-2, 195
26 - Frankie Stevens, Linebacker, Franklin, Shepherd, 6-1, 200
28 - Matthew McDonald, Wide receiver, Mount St. Joseph, Fairmont State, 6-4, 170
33 - Chris Rhodes, Linebacker, Henry A. Wise, Shepherd, 5-11, 202
44 - Ryan Kearney, Linebacker, Howard, Towson, 6-1, 220
46 - Karson Robinette, Linebacker, Allegany, undecided, 6-0, 190
50 - Noah Buttiglieri, Defensive back, Westminster, Fairmont State, 6-3, 290
52 - Malik Morgan, Defensive tackle, St. Frances Academy, ASA-Miami, 6-3, 305
55 - Nicholas White, Defensive end, Milford Mill Academy, Gannon, 6-3, 220
56 - Randy Robinson, Defensive tackle, North Hagerstown, Fairmont State, 6-4, 275
65 - Josh Miller, Offensive line, St. Frances Academy, Notre Dame, 6-2, 300
71 - Will Knutsson, Offensive line, McDonogh School, Penn State, 6-4, 295
72 - Antonio Derry, Offensive line, St. Frances Academy, Stetson, 6-4, 300
73 - Mike Corbi, Offensive line, Mount St. Joseph, Villanova 6-2, 295
77 - Noah Hayes, Offensive line, Oxon Hill, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6-6, 300
78 - Jamie Romo, Offensive line, St. Mary's, Navy, 6-5, 290
79 - Alan Gorny, Offensive line, Howard, Johns Hopkins, 6-2, 265
85 - Matthew Betterelli, Defensive end, Damascus, Shepherd, 6-2, 240
Coach: Reggie White (Milford Mill Academy)
Assistant coaches: Matthew Cahill (Westminster); Steve Erxleben (Southern); Byron Jones (Milford Mill); Nick Good-Malloy (Annapolis); Craig Jefferies (Oxon Hill), Steve Lurz (Patterson Mill); Gregg Trogdon (Milford Mill); Josh Ward (Concordia Prep)
1 - Rahsul Faison, Running back, Pottsgrove, Stony Brook, 6-1, 195
3 - Jahan Dotson, Wide receiver, Nazareth Area, Penn State, 6-1, 165
4 - Layton Jordan, Linebacker, McKeesport, Temple, 6-2, 208
5 - Carlinos Acie, Running back, McKeesport, Navy, 5-9, 180
6 - Lukas Emge, Quarterback, Manheim Township, Harvard, 6-1, 205
7 - Justis Henley, Athlete, North Penn, Delaware, 5-11, 170
8 - James Lawson, Defensive back, Bishop McDevitt, Villanova, 6-1, 180
9 - Ronald Kent, Defensive back, Harrisburg, Western Carolina, 5-10, 160
11 - Naszhir Taylor, Wide receiver, Woodland Hills, California of Pennsylvania, 6-2, 190
12 - Cooper Lutz, Defensive back, Berks Catholic, Syracuse, 5-11, 200
13 - Shaquon Anderson-Butts, Wide receiver, Harrisburg, Iowa Western CC, 6-1, 195
14 - Marquez McCray, Quarterback, St. Joseph's Prep, Sacred Heart, 6-3, 220
15 - Rovny Dasilva, Linebacker, West Catholic Prep, Undecided, 6-1, 225
16 - Brandon Clark, Wide receiver, State College, Penn State, 6-4, 195
17 - DB 5'11 185 Brassir Stocker, Defensive back, Downington East, undecided, 5-11, 185
18 - Darrell Mason, Linebacker, Penn Hills, Robert Morris, 6-1, 200
19 - Khalil Weathers, Defensive back, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Penn, 5-11, 185
19 - Xavier Roman, Defensive back, Manheim Township, Shippensburg, 6-1, 195
20 - Rayshad Wallace, Defensive end, St. Joseph's Prep, undecided, 6-1, 230
21 - Charles Katshir, Wide receiver, Cumberland Valley, Penn State, 6-3, 220
22 - Noah Plack-Tallerico, Linebacker, South Fayette, Delaware, 6-2, 210
23 - Bill Shaeffer, Defensive end, Archbishop Wood, Lafayette, 6-4, 225
24 - Jose Barbon, Wide receiver, Conestoga Valley, Temple, 5-11, 177
25 - Avery Young, Defensive back, Coatesville, Rutgers, 6-1, 195
26 - Liam Slattery, Linebacker, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Tufts, 6-1, 215
26 - Christian Arrington, Linebacker, Cumberland Valley, Rhode Island, 6-2, 210
33 - Vlad Hilling, Kicker, Hollidaysburg, Penn State, 5-11, 200
41 - Grant Smith, Tight end, Central Dauphin, Indiana of Pennsylvania, 6-4, 235
51 - Kobe Thomas, Offensive line, Parkland, Albany, 6-2, 290
53 - Will Mayr, Defensive end, Penn-Trafford, Indiana of Pennsylvania, 6-1, 235
55 - Ray Eldridge, Defensive tackle, South Fayette, Richmond, 6-4, 270
56 - Jahan Worth, Linebacker, Parkland, Duquesne, 5-11, 230
58 - Eric Neill, Offensive line, Central Valley, Duquesne, 6-3, 290
63 - Collin DeBoef, Offensive line, State College, Penn State, 6-6, 275
66 - Casey McCollum, Offensive line, Penn Manor, Lafayette, 6-6, 290
68 - Derek Devine, North Allegheny, Virginia, 6-6, 275
73 - Jeremiah Gutierrez, Offensive line, Stroudsburg, Slippery Rock, 6-3, 322
74 - Adam Klein, Offensive line, Episcopal Academy, Temple, 6-5, 280
Coach: Mark Evans (Manheim Township)
Assistant coaches: Evan Breisblatt (Lower Merion); Joe Cowart (New Castle); Mike Evans (Canon McMillan); Harold Fairclough (Emmaus); Matt Lintal (State College); Jason Vosheski (Academy Park); Mike Whitehead (Cumberland Valley)