North Hills’ Murtezi honored to compete in Big 33 Football Classic

Thursday, June 6, 2019 | 4:59 PM

Former North Hills football player Lirion Murtezi put an exclamation point on his impressive high school football career May 27 when he suited up for the 62nd annual Big 33 Football Classic at Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium.

Murtezi, a four-year starter for the Indians, entrenched himself in the right guard spot on Team Pennsylvania’s offensive line and helped lead his team to a 21-0 victory over Team Maryland.

The experience of playing in the prestigious postseason event was not lost on him, either, as Murtezi said he made sure to soak it all in.

“Honestly, it was an amazing time — just a really great experience. All the guys up there, we really had a chance to just be together and create some bonds and friendships as teammates throughout the whole thing,” Murtezi said.

“It was an honor to be recognized as one of the best in the state, and to be chosen to represent Team PA.”

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound North Hills product played both ways in high school, on the Indians’ offensive line and defensive line. He was distinguished as a Class 5A all-state performer this season.

For his elite performance this season, Murtezi was one of 10 WPIAL players selected to fill out Team Pa. in the Big 33 Classic. The others were Aliquippa’s M.J. Devonshire and Will Gipson, McKeesport’s Thomas Wyatt, Woodland Hills’ Mike Coleman, Penn Hills’ Daequan Hardy, Seneca Valley’s Jake Stebbins, Central Catholic’s Brian Dallas, Latrobe’s Trent Holler and Thomas Jefferson’s Dom Serapiglia.

The pride among the WPIAL guys on Team Pa. was palpable, according to Murtezi. Moreover, the team-wide focus on defeating their counterparts in the Big 33 contest was even more intense.

“The whole coaching staff prepared us very well. Honestly, in my opinion, we didn’t have that big of a challenge because we were so mentally locked in as a team. And I think that showed out,” Murtezi said.

“As a team, we’re all a bunch of really competitive kids so it kicked in right away that we were going to come in and kick Team Maryland’s butt. At the end of the day, we wanted to make sure that scoreboard is going to say that Team Pa. got the W.”

As for his future plans, Murtezi will take his talents to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he will play on the football team this fall.


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