Practice begins this Sunday for the Eighth Annual Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star game. Practice will be daily at ISU Memorial Stadium from 10 a.m. -- noon Sunday through Friday.
This year's game will again be played at ISU Memorial Stadium on Saturday June 23 with a 7:30 p.m. kick-off. The Awards Banquet will be held at Hulman Center on Friday June 22 at 6 p.m. with new Marian University's Head Football Coach Ted Karras as the key-note speaker.
The game will feature a new format for teams this year as the Association has grown from the original 22 high schools to 35 area high schools involved.
The All-Star teams were drafted by schools last winter and now we just have a Gold division team and a Black division team. Coach Troy Burgess from South Putnam High School will head the Black division while Coach Steve Weber from Linton-Stockton High School will lead the Gold division.
An integral part of the All-Star Game program is the awarding of scholarships for the participants. The WVFCA will have awarded over $25,000 in scholarships to participants after this year.
There is the WVFCA/Pete Varda Hall of Fame Scholarship that the players vote on. There is the Brett Eitel Memorial Scholarship based on academics and new this year will be a Coaches Pick scholarship awarded to a player on each team sponsored by Sir Thomas Automotive.
Putnam County will be represented by 12 athletes.
The South All-Stars will have a heavy county prescence. The team will be coached by South Putnam's Troy Burgess, with Nathan Aker serving as assistant coach.
South Putnam will also send players Rob Gibson, Wade Custis and Cody Heller. Greencastle's Levi App and Ryan Battin Cloverdale's Ethan Atwood and Jordan Brinkman will also be part of the All-Star game.
North Putnam will have five players participating for the North All-Stars. They are Hunter Logan, Jake Smerage, Kolten Everts, Nate Bryan and Tyler Shorter.