All-Star game to feature local flavor

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Cody Frana

The 12th annual Sertoma Grin Iron Football Classic, which will be held Friday, June 7 at JFK Stadium in Springfield, will have a decidedly local flavor.

The 2013 game features 90 athletes and 16 coaches from southwest Missouri. Participants were selected by the Southwest Missouri High School Football Coaches Association.

Cassville's Josh Carlton, Cody Frana and Drew Henbest earned an invitation to the prestigious event.

Drew Henbest

The Big 8 Conference secured 16 of the West team's 41 roster spots or 36 percent of the team. If players from the Spring River Valley Conference and Marionville are added, that number leaps to 22 or 49 percent.

Fifteen athletes from Barry and Lawrence counties will put the football pads on one more time.

Monett will send four senior players in Kurran Blamey, Reese Bounous, Matt Murphy and Devon Overall.

Josh Carlton

Also from the Big 8 are: Tyler Richardson and Shane Williams, both of Mt. Vernon; Keenan Begley, Austin Boice, Jade Morgan and Chad Rice, all of Lamar; Everett Basham, of Aurora; Clayton Harrell, of East Newton; and Jalen Skaggs, of Seneca.

From the Spring River Valley Conference: Kyle Davidson, Derrick Estell, Dalton Gulick and Jacob Lundquist, all of Miller; and Cedric O'Hara, of Pierce City.

Marionville's Nate Hill rounds out the area players on the Grin Iron roster.

The West's coaching staff is headed by Monett head coach Chad Depée. He will be assisted by Monett's Derrek Uhl, Jim Genzler and fellow Big 8 coaches Tom Hodge (Seneca) and Rick Scholten (Aurora).

The annual all-star football game has grown into a tradition for area seniors and their families, celebrating the final football game in the athletes' high school careers.

The Grin Iron Classic also serves as a benefit for the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, also known as the Tooth Truck, a mobile dental clinic for at-risk children who lack access to dental care.

Since its inception in 2002, the Tooth Truck has helped over 12,000 children with dental treatment valued at more than $8.5 million through 37,000 dental appointments.

The Grin Iron Classic will also feature tours of the Tooth Truck, ICON CHEER, the National Guard colorguard, a visit from Ronald McDonald, concessions and commemorative programs and T-shirts.

All Grin Iron Classic alumni are invited to the game and will receive complimentary tickets.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Grin Iron Classic is presented by Delta Dental of Missouri and the Heart of the Ozarks Sertoma Club.

Editors note: The full roster can be viewed at

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