MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you didn’t get your high school football fix last fall, there’s one more chance to get out and see some of the top players in the state.
More than 80 of the top graduating seniors have been selected to the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game, which will be played on Saturday, June 30 at TCF Bank Stadium. Many of the players in the game are moving on to college football careers, so it’s their last chance to compete as high school athletes.
It’s a game that used to be a team from the Twin Cities metro area that would face off against players from greater Minnesota, affectionately called the Outstate team. The format recently changed, and now the state is split by rosters labeled North and South.
Of the 88 players selected to be in the game, 27 earned all-state honors in 2011 and 13 who played for state championships. Nine players in the game can call themselves state champions.
In looking at the rosters for each team, some of the state’s top echelon players are absent. No Philip Nelson, no Mitch Leidner, no Andre McDonald and no Jonah Pirsig. That’s because some of the state’s best graduated high school early, enrolled at college early and are already in spring practice at their schools.
After having glances at both rosters, there’s still plenty of talent on both sides. For the north, Osseo quarterback D.J. Hebert and Bemidji wide receiver Carey Woods should be an exciting duo to watch. Woods had a breakout game as the Lumberjacks beat No. 1-ranked Mankato West in the Class AAAA semifinals at the Metrodome.
Anoka running back Josh Werness should also be fun to watch. Although he stood out at quarterback for Rogers, Matt Weber will represent the Royals on the defensive line.
On the south squad are a pair of quarterbacks who were South Suburban Conference rivals during the 2011 season. Lakeville North’s Trey Heid and Eagan’s Drew Bauer should both be fun to watch. Receiver Charlie Hayes of Lakeville North also had a great senior season and will be at the game. Hunter Friesen of Mankato West, one of Nelson’s top targets last year, is also slated to play.
Sam Sura of South St. Paul will be a fun running back to watch, and Charles Webb will be a playmaker in the secondary.
Most all-star games typically are yawners. There isn’t much defense, it’s high-scoring and neither team really cares who wins. That’s not the case with the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game. The North beat the South 17-7 last year and holds a 9-8-1 record in the series.
This is the 39th year for the contest, which is put on the by the Minnesota State High School Football Coaches Association. The head coach for the North will be Jeff Schleiff of Spring Lake Park and the head coach for the South will be Bill Ihrke of Plainview-Elgin-Milville.
The game kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at the University of Minnesota.