Area well represented at Minnesota
high school all-star football game Saturday
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:20 AM
Coaches and players from the area will participate in the 41st annual Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) Tackle Cancer All-Star Football Game 1 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at Clemens Stadium on the campus of St. John's University at Collegeville.
The all-star football game will showcase outstanding senior players from the 2013 high school football season. Players and coaches representing 83 schools and 29 conferences will participate in this year's game. They were selected by members of the MFCA.
Jeff Johnson of Chatfield, which won the Class AA state title, and James Semmen of Lanesboro are assistant coaches for the South all-stars. Also, serving as honorary coach is Dick Strand of Southland, who was named to the MFCA Hall of Fame in 2003.
Tight end Jayme LaPlante of Chatfield, who played for Johnson, is a member of the team. Also on the South squad is defensive back Trenton Bleifus of Grand Meadow, which plays in the same nine-man Southeast Conference as Semmen's Burros. Bleifus is one of two nine-man players on the South squad, which includes all classes. The other area representative is defensive lineman Cale Stensgard of Rushford-Peterson, which plays in the Southern Football Alliance with Chatfield, but is a Class A school. He is one of two Class A representatives on the squad.
One other representative from the Southern Football Alliance is defensive back Benjamin Warneke from Pine Island, a Class AA school. There are five players from Big Nine schools, including Isaiah Minnich from Rochester John Marshall on the 44-person roster for the South.
The 2014 All-Star Game will be the 41st in the current annual series and the 52nd overall. For the fourth consecutive year, the game will feature the North All-Stars versus the South All-Stars. In the 2013 game, the South All-Stars defeated the North All-Stars 24-14 at Husky Stadium.
The South All-Stars lead the current North-South series 2-1. The South also leads the overall North-South series 10-9-1 after 20 games. The South All-Stars took the series lead for the first time after the 2013 victory.
The All-Star training camp is also being held at St. John's University from Sunday, June 22, through Saturday, June 28. This will be the third year that the all-star training camp has been held at St. John's University. This will be the first time since 1975 (and only the fourth time in 52 all-star games) that both the all-star football game and the all-star training camp will be held on the same campus.
Head coach for the South is Mike Grant of Eden Prairie, a 2014 MFCA Hall of Fame member who is serving his second all-star game as head coach. His team was the 2013 Class AAAAAA state champion.
Bill Weiss from Class AAAAA Chisago Lakes will coach the North in his first coaching assignment for the all-star game. The Luther College graduate began his coaching career at Decorah High School in 1992.