By Mike Dyer
Game will be held June 14 in Findlay; Fills Big 33 void
The low temperature Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati was minus 7 with wind chills hovering around minus 30.
Ah, yes January in Ohio.
And while the snowfall of the state finals weekend in Stark County in early December seems more like a tropical paradise memory, the pigskin won’t be packed away for much too much longer.
With National Signing Day less than a month away (Feb. 5), several members of the 2014 class are still mulling college destinations these next few weeks. The first week of February will also be a reminder of all-star games soon to arrive this spring and early summer.
The first Border Classic – Michigan vs. Ohio All-Star Game will be played June 14 at the University of Findlay. Last week, Cincinnati.com reported rosters for that inaugural game will be released the first week of February – there will be 40 total players from around the state.
Lima Senior coach Mike Fell is the head coach of the Ohio squad. He said the all-star game will be another opportunity for some of Ohio’s top players to shine before they arrive on college campuses this summer. The game is being hosted by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA).
Per OHSAA rules, an individual is only allowed to participate in two all-star games before high school graduation. This game will be June 14 – after most schools will have graduated their respective classes.
The coaching staff includes Fell, Wyoming’s Aaron Hancock, Evergreen’s Paul Yunker, Steubenville Central Catholic’s Steve Daly, Bryan’s Kevin Kline and Napoleon’s Tory Strock.
The Border Classic will exist alongside the Ohio North-South Games, which are April 26 at Welcome Stadium (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) for the two divisions.
Fell said the Border Classic will be similar to the Big 33 Game which dropped Ohio in October 2012. He was the Big 33 head coach in 2009 and remembers having 28 Football Bowl Subdivision players on the Ohio roster.
Hancock, who will be the Ohio defensive coordinator, said he’s already made calls about defensive players. He met with the coaching staff in Lima last week.
“This is going to be a great game,” Hancock said. “…I am pretty fired up.”
Fell said Ohio will wear red uniforms and Michigan likely will be blue. Under Armour will outfit the pants and they are looking for other sponsorship partners. He said the location of the 2015 game hasn’t been determined yet.
Fell said the Border Classic is Michigan’s only all-star game. He is looking forward to the opportunity.
“It’s great,” Fell said. “Like I said, I coached in the Big 33 – it gives you a chance to meet new guys. It gives us high school coaches a chance to know these top kids. Five years down the road you are going to see them on Sundays.”