DAYTON, WELOME STADIUM
As is the case in most All-Star games, players get a few practices in during the process of graduations and track meets to end their high school days. But it never fails that a few are ready and eager to showcase their football talents when given the chance.
Friday night the Miami Valley Coaches Association hosted its 21st North-South All-Star football game. The event which has seen future college stars like Will Allen (Wayne, Ohio State, Tamp Bay) was full of future college players enjoying the chance to play in front of the home folks one last time.
With a nice breeze and clear skies after a day of storms, the game started with a bolt of lightning when Vandalia Butler QB Mark Betts hit Northmont WR Romunn Grigsby (Kansas State) Photo Ro Grigsby for 44-yards on the first play of the night. Grigsby would earn MVP as the top receiver in the game after pulling in 5 catches for around 110 yards for the North.
The North dominates this game with a great offensive line play headed by Brandon Curtis Photo Brandon Curtis of Springfield South. Curtis who in my opinion was one of the most underrated OL prospects in Ohio this past season showed why he will become a major player at the next level for Bowling Green University. For his effort he was named the games Offensive Line MVP. Other top OL players for the North were Northmonts Brandon Armstrong (Miami of Ohio) Photo of Armstrong
But the South didn't leave empty handed in the MVP awards. Centerville defensive end Dan Cline showed why Western Kentucky Photo Dan Cline is getting a steal with his outstanding effort against the tough North OL. Cline was presented with the MVP as the top Defensive Linemen on the night. Many D-I programs missed on this kid.
Another North player proved some D-I programs wrong. Northmonts Jamar Harris who had given a verbal to then University of Cincinnati Coach Rick Minter saw the new Bearcat staff start the recruiting process over. When this happened Harris found a home at D-I-AA Western Kentucky. Harris showed his ability to run and catch the ball out of the backfield during the game and why he's a D-I caliber player in my book.
The South struggled with its offensive line play. This made a rough night for quarterback Anthony Turner (Bowling Green) Photo Anthony Turner and the rest of the South offensive threats who didn't get things rolling until late into the game. But each time they would start putting a series together they would shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and miscues.
South featured running back Pernell Williams (West Virginia) Photo Pernell Williams would post a few runs but was never really able to get started. The biggest threat for the South in the early going was receiver Zach Freshwater (Ohio Dominican) Photo Zach Freshwater . Freshwater at one point had the only first down for the South. He would later have to leave the game with a concussion after a nasty hit from the North defense.
When all was said and done, the night was a great night for the players and the Coaches Association. These kids will remember playing in this game and the friendships they built during the practices and being in battle with each other. Fan turnout was very good as they saw a nice show to get them ready for the next two All-Star games with Ohio players and the start of what should be another great season of Ohio High School Football.