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North/South Classic All Star Game


The OHSFCA recently announced the date/place/time for the North/South All Star Classic football games. The games will be held on April 28th at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Divisions 4-7 game will begin at 12:00. Divisions 1-3 game will kickoff at 4:00.

As has been in recent years – two games, instead of one. More Ohio seniors get a chance to play their last high school football game. For some, this will be their last game, but for others college awaits.

The games seem to be really fun and enjoyable, but I always seem to come away scratching my head as to how the OHSFCA can improve the games. There are probably some areas that could be visited and improved. But I have just one request. A player’s commitment to the game.

The selection of the teams has always been exciting and, honestly, some work. Each region of the state has nominations. I believe that there are 8 regions in the south and 8 in the north. The coaching staffs then select the players for each team. Each region has to be represented.

During the Big 33 era, I met with the head coach of the Big 33 game and talked about the nominations. Together, we had a mock draft for the team. During the selection, we talked about athletic ability and position depth. We did not get into where players were going to college. We wanted to the best players, but they had to “fit” the team.

The easiest part of selecting the North/South rosters is the first time to select. Players commit to play in the game. Players are excited. Parents are excited. Coaches are excited. Schools are excited. The easy part of picking players for the Big 33 was much the same.

As we selected players for the Big 33, we tried to get the ones who once they made a commitment, they held to it. Of course, we would lose some, but we usually did enough homework to be okay. For just a few head coaches, my input was not necessary. When the players dropped their interest, then those same coaches called me. I had no problem with that.

The HARDEST part of being a coach for the North/South game is finding reserve players to replace ones who made the commitment, but, for some reason, decided against playing. Just as hard is trying to find reserve players to replace the reserve player.

I ask that once a player makes a commitment to play in the North/South Classic, fulfill that commitment. Of course with the “flipping” in college recruiting, a recruit changing his commitment is getting easier.  Please, if you do not feel that you want to play, or are undecided – just say, “not interested.” But do this before you say, “yes.”

Understandable if there is a huge family problem, you are injured, or an emergency has occurred. But if your dog is having puppies, your girl friend is mad at you, or you are missing a private party, not understandable. If you are a spring sport guy, check with your coach about the schedule. Also, get his thoughts about playing. But do this before you say, “yes.”

The main excuse that draws my disappointment  is that my college coach said that it would be better to not participate. Some college coaches give that “sure, it is okay.” But, most of the time, those are just words. Actually, I can see the college coach being concerned about injury. But find somebody to ask the college coach the truth. But do this before you say, “yes.”

Just a few things stopped me from being selected to the Ohio All Star back in 1966. 1- No talent. 2- Fear of getting hurt. 3. Dog was having puppies.

If you make a commitment to play in this fun game and enjoy showing your ability, stay with your commitment. If you enjoy making new friends and enjoy competing, stay with your commitment.

Please give it some thought and get some opinions from coaches, before you say, “yes.”


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