Many of the 39 Suburban Lakes League football players chosen to play in the Suburban Sandusky All-Star
Game have competed against each other since the seventh grade.
But for one night, they’ll be on the same team.
The ninth-annual game – matching this year’s recently-graduated seniors from the SLL against the Sandusky
Bay Conference – is Monday night at Clyde High School. Kickoff is 7:30.
Twenty-two of the SLL’s players are from Eastwood, Elmwood, Lake, Lakota and Otsego. The remainder of the
roster comes from Genoa, Gibsonburg and Woodmore.
Members of the SBC are Clyde, Milan Edison, Huron, Margaretta, Oak Harbor, Sandusky Perkins, Port Clinton
and Sandusky St. Mary’s.
"The guys get a chance to play on the same team with guys they’ve played against since they were in
junior high," said Eastwood head coach Jerry Rutherford, one of the game’s organizers. "They
find out the guys from the other schools are good guys, too. It’s nice they can make some new friends
and get better acquainted with guys they’ve been rivals with.
"For a lot of them, this is the last football game they’ll play because they’ll being going to
college or working in the fall. They is the last chance they get to do something they love."
The SBC has won six of the eight games, although the SLL won last season.
"The game has gone really well," Rutherford said. "The players seem to enjoy it a lot. We
try to make it a lot of fun for them.
"Normally, there are guys who don’t want to play. But we have a lot of good players this year and
they’re all good guys. They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them in terms of getting paperwork in,
coming to practice. When you’ve got guys coming in from a lot of different schools, sometimes it’s hard
to get stuff done."
Rutherford said the SLL is still evaluating what it will do offensively.
"We’ve got some good linemen, and we’ve got some backs and receivers," Rutherford said.
Defensively, Rutherford said the teams are limited to rushing no more than five players and no blitzing
"It’s pretty basic defense," Rutherford said. "The game is designed to help the offenses
and you just hope your defense can make a few plays. You just want to be in the right position and not
give up a lot of big plays."
Both teams have been practicing this week.
"The guys are in good shape," Rutherford said. "They’re not in football shape, but most of
them are two- and three-sport athletes and most of them have been lifting weights to keep in shape. They
all know how to play the game. We’ll just let them go out and play."
Players scheduled to play in the game are:
¥ Eastwood – Jason Faykosh, Ashton Brown, Mark Schult, Matt Schlumbohm, James Morlock and Jason Cowell.
¥ Elmwood – Aaron Blachuta, Shannon Stewart, Thor Bottesch, Lewis Stearns, Joey Williams and Tanner
¥ Genoa – Zach Apel, Beau Lamb, Marcus Vicars, Callan Bialorucki, Jake Murphy, Ryan Bless and Bryce
¥ Gibsonburg – Nick Baker, Andy Gerbich, Tony Egbert, James Cantrell, Pat Cantrell, Lucas Damschroder and
¥ Lake – Nick Mikels, Mike Mathews, Jake Griffith and Josh Sampsel.
¥ Lakota – Austin McGown, Mike Kleman and Chris Kleman.
¥ Otsego – R.J. Hefflinger, Vince Falk and Matt Forry.
¥ Woodmore – Max Nusser, Cody Schnabel and Dan Roepke.
Each year, four players from each team receive a $500 scholarship from the proceeds from the game. The
scholarships are based on an essay written by each player about what football means to them.
So far, $32,000 in scholarships has been awarded.
All of the money raised from the cost of tickets, programs and 50-50 raffle go to the scholarships. None
of the income from the tickets, programs or 50-50 goes to the participating schools, although Clyde gets
to keep the income from the concession stand since it’s hosting the game.
The game was the idea of the late Jack Burgess, who was a football coach and principal at Lakota.