Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
Prep Seniors Ready for All-Star Football Game
MARION -- Dozens of high school seniors will put on the pads one last time in the 8th annual Southern Illinois-Western Kentucky All-Star football game Friday night at Murray State University.
"Putting on the pads again for the first time was like sitting on a cloud to tell you the truth," former Mt. Vernon lineback Blake Stricklin said. "As soon as you put on those shoulder pads and strap that helmet on, it's go time."
For many it's the last time they will ever play organized football.
"I value every opportunity I get to put the pads on," former Mt. Vernon lineman Dan Morrison said. "This is just something extra."
"It's an honor because a lot of them were named All-South performers, a lot of them were All-Conference players so in that regard, they get a great chance to play one last time," Centralia coach Ray Kauling said.
For some it's the chance to show their college coaches they're ready for the next level. Carbondale native and SIU recruit Jordan Bowlby missed the majority of last season with an injury, which means he's anxious for the chance to hit somebody.
"Hitting somebody is new but I mean it's in your blood," Bowlby said. "After you hit somebody once, it's right there.
"I hope it's going to prove to the coaches at SIU that I can play at the division one level."
The team is led by area coaches Jeremy Clodfelder from Benton and Kauling from Centrailia. For them it's a unique opportunity to be back on the sidelines.
"It's fun not just seeing the kids we coached back out there one more time but seeing kids we coached against and working with those kids has been a lot of fun for me especially," Kauling added.
The game kicks off Friday night at 7 p.m. This year it's being played at Roy Stewart Stadium on the campus of Murray State University.
Wind: 14 MPH
Humidity: 50 %