All-Star Classic Kicks Off 2015 Season
The unofficial kickoff to the 2015 season occurs on Sunday, July 26 when the 70th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic is staged at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The 64 players and coaching staffs from Ohio and West Virginia report to camp at Bethany College on July 19 to begin their week-long preparations.
Ohio coach Jeremy McElroy,(Beaver Local) and West Virginia coach Ian Whittington, (Oak Glen) both have finalized their rosters for the game.
“Picking this team can be a tough process because you want to do what’s right and honor as many kids as possible,” Whittington said. “It’s kind of like fitting a puzzle together because you have some criteria to meet and you can only take so many kids by position.”
In Ohio, 18 schools and half of those have multiple representatives, with Buckeye Local selecting three. The West Virginia coaching staff admitted it was tougher to than most people might think. You would like to take all of the kids, but you just can’t.
“You have to deal with more roster turnover. Once you get your roster filled, and a couple weeks later you get a call that is so in so isn’t playing, it’s tough,” said Whittington. “We just had to move on to the next best kid available.”
Area members participating in this years OVAC All-Star game River Pilots punter/kicker Colton Wright; Valley’s Peyton Palmer running back, and Paden City Wildcats quarterback Zach Heasley.
Wright was the Pilots two-headed star punter and field goal kicker. He played an instrumental role in keeping offenses from starting out in scoring positions, while giving RHS Head Coach Mike Flannery’s offense a chance to score every time they crossed their 35-yard line.
The West Virginia Wesleyan bound Heasley has had a couple big years under the tutelage of head coach Brent Croasmun. He amassed 1,696-yards and tossed 19 touchdowns as a junior and threw for 1,561 and connected on 10 touchdowns his senior season, while controlling defensive end. He was also the teams punter and field goal kicker.
For his efforts the three-sport standout earned first-team all-OVAC all Mason-Dixon, special mention all-state, and second-team all Valley. He also played an key role in the North-South Charity Football Classic this season, while playing in the OVAC all-Star baseball and basketball all-star Classics as well this year.