SOMERSET HILLS NJ - Three Bernards High School football standouts have been chosen to play in the Basilone Bowl IV. Wide receiver Mac Petrie, and defensive linemen Justin Guimares and Conor Ussery were chosen by the Somerset County Football Association to play in the annual all-star game on June 30.
The three Mountaineers were among 80 all-stars chosen from 13 Somerset County high schools and two Hunterdon County high schools not just for their achievements on the field, but for their academic achievement and the quality of their character.
The game is named for Marine Sergeant John Basilone, a Somerset County native, born and bred in Raritan, whose heroic actions at the Guadalcanal in World War II were in no small part responsible for the Allied victory in that strategic battle. President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded Basilone the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroics at Guadalcanal. Basilone returned home to the United States after Guadalcanal. He later returned to the conflict at his own request. Basilone fell at the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
There is a statute of Basilone in Raritan Borough. Raritan holds an annual parade in his honor. Basilone's military career was one of the subjects of HBO's acclaimed series "The Pacific".
In memory of their fallen comrade, the United States Marine Corps supports the event. Players will wear the Marine Corps logo on their uniforms. Local marines will attend practices and workouts. The game will be held on June 30 at 7 p.m. at Somerville High School.
Follow TAP into Somerset Hills for information about the event and for player profiles.