North-South game hoping move to April means more fans, focus on nation’s longest event


OHSFCA North-South Classic

A new era in Ohio high school football all-star game action will
begin this spring as the Ohio North-South Classic will move from
mid-June to Fri., April 23. The move allows the Ohio High School Football
Coaches Association to avoid a conflict with the Big 33 Football
Classic and also provides the opportunity for the game to be held on the evening
before Ohio State’s spring football game….VIDEO

A new era in Ohio high school football all-star game action will
begin this spring as the Ohio North-South Classic will move from
mid-June to Fri., April 23.

The North-South Classic is in its 65th consecutive year
and is the nation’s longest running high school all-star game. The game
moved from Stark County to Columbus in 2001 and has been contested at
Ohio Stadium the last couple of years.

But the move from June to April allows the Ohio High School Football
Coaches Association to avoid a conflict with the Big 33 Football
Classic. The Big 33 pits an Ohio all-star team against a team from
Pennsylvania. By moving the Ohio game, the OHSFCA can have Ohio’s best
players compete in both all-star games. (This year’s Big 33 game is set
for Sat., June 19.)

Plus, the Ohio North-South Classic will be held on the evening
before Ohio State’s spring football game. Organizers hope that helps
boost attendance at their game on that Friday night.

Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger, an OHSFCA all-star game committee member, talked about the rationale behind this big change.

“The reality of it was it wasn’t really one particular item that
sparked this move,” Terwilliger said. “This has been in the works,
really, for about three years. We were up against the Big 33 game and
kids enrolling at colleges early because of semesters and the Army game
and the Under Armour game.

“Coach Tressel and the Ohio State staff have been good. We have been
brainstorming to see what direction is the best way to take this game,
which is the oldest in the country, and make it something that every
kid in this state wants to play in.

“The Big 33 game is also important because we’re competitive. Our
game is more important to us. Now some of these kids can play in this
game and that game as well. I’m pretty excited about it. We want these
guys to be the beginning of something big. We want people next year to
say, ‘What do I have to do to get into that game?’ ”

Terwilliger and members of the coaches association hope the
North-South Game will attract football fans who will come into Columbus
for the weekend for the OSU spring game. It is also the weekend of the
OSU coaching clinic.

“Coach Tressel has to be given a lot of credit for that,”
Terwilliger said. “There will be 1,000 coaches from all around the
state in town as well. We can’t do it the same day they do. Ideally, it
would have been great to do a doubleheader with Ohio State. But we
can’t do that because of NCAA guidelines. I think it’s going to be

In years past, the coaches association brought the players for the
North-South Game to Columbus a week before the game. They practiced and
were sequestered in dorms at Otterbein. But, by moving the game to a
weekend within the school year, they have to rework the practice
schedule and accommodations.

“Everything is new,” Terwilliger said. “The teams got together in
February. They’ll get together in March for a Saturday or Sunday
practice. We’ll do it again in April before coming into the week. The
players will then report on the Wednesday of the game week and we’ll
put them up in a hotel. Thursday night will be our banquet and Friday
will be the game.”

Ohio State recruits Darryl Baldwin (Solon), J.T. Moore (Boardman),
Tyrone Williams (East Cleveland Shaw), Christian Bryant (Cleveland
Glenville) and Verlon Reed (Marion-Franklin) will headline a group of
13 future Big Ten players, including five headed for Michigan and three
going to Wisconsin.

Other colleges represented in the game include Notre Dame, Pitt,
West Virginia and a slew of MAC schools. Five future Cincinnati players
will suit up as well.

Dublin Coffman’s Mark Crabtree will coach the South team, while Medina Highland’s Tom Lombardo will coach the North.

“It is pretty neat and I think the closer the game gets here the
more I am going to appreciate it and the more the players and the
assistant coaches will appreciate it,” Crabtree said. “If you go back
and really study this and the history of the guys who have come before
us, it’s a pretty impressive list of people.

“The fact we’re playing Ohio Stadium is also neat. We were one of
the high school teams that got to play there this past year. When you
walk down that tunnel, you get pretty charged up. You’re on that field
and in that stadium you’ve seen your whole life. It will click for
these guys that it’s a big deal.”

Crabtree talked about the logisitics involved in coaching an all-star game during the school year.

“It’s going to be a little tricky,” he said. “The only thing we know
is we will practice on a Wednesday and a Thursday and play the game on
a Friday night. Beside that, we’re probably looking at practicing on
some Sunday afternoons. That’s all we got. Both teams will be under the
same constraint, so we’ll just do the best we can with it.”

Lombardo agreed that it will be hard to build a team in such a piecemeal manner.

“I do believe this is a positive,” Lombardo said. “We want the best
players from the North and the South to play in the game. Then, the
best from this game go on and play in the Big 33. To couple it with
(OSU’s) spring game is exciting. Obviously, that leaves us some
challenges with some Sunday practices and just the two days before.

“I think we will make it work. They are good athletes.”

Lombardo said he is excited to be involved with the game.

“Both teams are loaded with the best players in the state,” Lombardo
said. “We may be missing one or two guys because of track or something
else like that, but for the most part you have great players. I am
looking forward to it and I’m excited.”

No time has been set for the game, but the organization is looking
at the potential of having the game kick off at 7 p.m. By adding Under
Armour as a sponsor, the players will be outfitted in state-of-the-art
uniforms and gear. There is hope as well that a television station or
network will pick up the game.

“We are a philanthropic organization,” Terwilliger said. “What money
we make, we give right back to scholarships. To put a game on TV, you
have to pay for production costs. We don’t have that nor the expertise
to do it. You have to have a venue great enough where someone comes in
and says, ‘We want to do it.’

“Our goal is just to get it on TV.”

The rosters for the game are listed below. Here are video interviews
with three of the players selected for the 2010 North-South Game.

Video interview with Solon DE Darryl Baldwin, headed to Ohio State.

Video interview with Youngstown Boardman DE J.T. Moore, headed to Ohio State.

Video interview with Carey OL Michael Dennis, headed to Michigan State.


Here are the rosters:


Friday April 23, Time TBD

Ohio Stadium


Head coach

Tom Lombardo (Medina Highland)

Assistant coaches

Mike Bell (Mentor Lake Catholic)

Tom Gibbons (Euclid)

Mike Kopachy (Salem)

Jim Lunardi (Ravenna)

Rick Rios (Toledo Rogers).

No., Player, Pos., Ht., Wt., High School, College

Latwan Anderson, DB, 5-9, 180, Clev. Glenville, West Virginia

Courtney Avery, DB, 5-10, 170, Lexington, Michigan

Darryl Baldwin, DL, 6-7, 265, Solon, Ohio State

Christian Bryant, DB, 5-10, 185, Clev. Glenville, Ohio State

Isiah Byler, OL, 6-5, 280, Elyria, Bowling Green

Brendan Carrazoni, TE, 6-4, 220, Clev. St. Ignatius, Pittsburg

Andre Cliff, OLB, 5-9, 210, Euclid, Undecided

Michael Dennis, OL, 6-7, 270, Carey, Michigan State

Jayronne Elliott, OLB, 6-3, 210, Clev. Glenville, Undecided

Ben Eisel, WR, 5-11, 165, Salem, Undecided

Eric Franklin, OL, 6-7, 310, Young. Mooney, Undecided

Tyson Gulley, RB, 5-9, 175, Akron Garfield, Syracuse

Chase Hammond, WR, 6-5, 210, Young. Boardman, Wisconsin

Erick Howard, RB, 5-11, 217, N. Canton Hoover, Akron

Kelton Keller, DL, 6-4, 240, Medina Buckeye, Eastern Michigan

Antonio Kinard, LB, 6-3, 220, Young. Liberty, Michigan

Zach Larson, OL, 6-2, 290, Young. Mooney, Undecided

Aaron Maslowski, RB, 5-10, 185, Medina Highland, Undecided,

J.T. Moore, DL, 6-3, 220, Young. Boardman, Ohio State

Jeff Myers, C, 6-3, 275, Massillon, Toledo

Cameron Ontko, LB, 6-0, 218, Walsh Jesuit, Wisconsin

Matt Rotherman, OL, 6-6, 295, North Olmsted, Pittsburgh

Jerrod Ronyak, QB, 6-3, 210, Mentor Lake Catholic, Undecided

Josh Russ, OLB, 6-6, 205, Elyria Catholic, Cincinnati

Jake Ryan, LB, 6-3, 225, Clev. St. Ignatius, Michigan

Dan Schneider, TE, 6-4, 240, Avon Lake, Pittsburgh

Anthony Schrock, WR, 6-3, 200, Wadsworth, Akron

Jacob Schwertner, OL, 6-3, 265, Lake. St. Edward, Penn

Jewone Snow, LB, 6-3, 230, Canton McKinley, West Virginia

Carey Spear, K, 5-11, 175, Mayfield, Vanderbilt

Anthony Stryffeler, DL, 6-4, 220, Padua, Ball State

Parnell Taylor, WR, 5-10, 185, Ravenna

E.J. Tucker, QB, 6-3, 207, Toledo Rogers, Toledo

Tyrone Williams, WR, 6-7, 215, East Cleveland Shaw, Ohio State

Luke Wollett, DB, 6-1, 185, Poland, Kent State


Head coach

Mark Crabtree (Dublin Coffman)

Assistant coaches

Greg Bailie (Lakota East)

Rudy Vavrock (Bridgeport)

Marty Arganbright (Coshocton)

Todd Schulte (Delphos St. John’s)

Sean Arno (Alexander).

Player, Pos., Ht., Wt., High School, College

Patrick Angle, QB, 6-1, 205, Logan, Undecided

Jibreel Black, DL, 6-2, 255, Cin. Wyoming, Cincinnati

Preston Brown, LB, 6-2, 220, Cin. Northwest, Cincinnati

C.J. Bryant, DB, 6-0, 170, Gahanna, Northwestern

Brett Buehler, LB, 6-1, 218, Dublin Coffman, Cornell

Nathan Carpenter, RB, 5-10, 197, Lancaster, Ohio U.

Arryn Chenault, DB, 6-2, 200, Fairfield, Cincinnati

Kyle Clinton, K, 6-1, 185, Dublin Coffman, Undecided

Avery Cunningham, DB, 5-11, 190, Cin. Winton Woods, Central Michigan

Lamar Davenport, WR, 6-4, 185, Springfield, Undecided

Mark Fackler, DE, 6-4, 235, Kenton, Kent State

Jerry Gates, DB, 6-0, 192, Middletown, Undecided

Josh Harrison, LB, 6-0, 216, Lakota West, Wisconsin

Josh Hendershot, OL, 6-4, 275, Newark Catholic, Toledo

Phil Huff, OL, 6-3, 245, Hilliard Davidson, Undecided

Heath Jackson, WR, 6-1, 180, Ada, Bowling Green

Marcus Johnston, RB, 6-0, 205, Coshocton, Undecided,

Andrew Jomantas, OL, 6-7, 265, Dayton C-J, N.C. State

John Lloyd, P, 6-3, 224, Cin. Hills C.A., Cincinnati

Greg Mancz, OL, 6-5, 275, Cin. Anderson, Toledo

Corey Mason, LB, 6-3, 225, Cin. Elder, Eastern Illinois

Nick McKnight, WR, 6-3, 200, Middletown, Bowling Green

Austin Mercer, WR, 6-2, 185, S. Charleston SE, Undecided

Roosevelt Nix, DL, 6-0, 250, Reynoldsburg, Kent State

Dylan Potts, DB, 6-0, 195, River, Akron

Verlon Reed, QB, 6-2, 190, Cols. Marion-Franklin, Ohio State

Zac Rosenbauer, LB, 6-3, 250, Lima Shawnee, Toledo

Kevin Schloemer, OL, 6-6, 270, Lakota West, Cincinnati

Harrison Scott, DL, 6-3, 248, New Albany, Indiana

Justin Stumph, OL, 6-4, 260, Col. St. Charles, Miami

Terrance Talbott, DB, 5-10, 175, Huber Hgts. Wayne, Michigan

Terry Talbott, DL, 6-4, 265, Huber Hgts. Wayne, Michigan

Jefffrey Tanner, OL, 6-4, 280, Cin. Moeller, Miami (Ohio)

Jack Tomlinson, WR, 5-9, 160, Westerville South, Ball State

Alex Welch, TE, 6-5, 235, Cin. Elder, Notre Dame

Tavion Wright, RB, 5-10, 185, Day. Thur. Marshall, Undecided

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