Local athletes invited to all-star game
2 Wildcats named among area's best in the west
A pair of Cassville seniors will have one last go on the gridiron Friday at the 14th annual Sertoma Grin Iron Football Classic at JFK Stadium at Parkview High School in Springfield.
The 2015 game features the best 88 seniors and 20 coaches from southwest Missouri. Participants were selected by the Southwest Missouri High School Football Coaches Association.
Cassville's Gabe Kirk and Dalton Jett will represent the Wildcats on the West Team.
"Any time you have players chosen to represent the school and community in an all-star game, it is a special achievement," said Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach. "Our two young men have worked their tails off to get this honor. Gabe did a great job at quarterback for us the last three seasons, and Dalton was our unquestionable leader on defense."
The Big 8 Conference secured 13 of the West Team's 44 roster spots, or 30 percent of the team. Including players from the Spring River Valley Conference and Marionville, that number leaps to 19 or 43 percent.
There are 11 athletes from Barry and Lawrence counties that will put the football pads on one more time.
Monett sends four athletes to the event: Zack Hammond, Levi Pfitzner, Wesley Abramovitz and Michael Childress.
Also from the Big 8 are: Keynan Scheurich, Nick Kennedy, Kaden Brown, Gabe McMullen and Reece Tholen, Carl Junction; Brandon Hayes, Mt. Vernon; and Austin Grotts, McDonald County.
Representing the Spring River Valley Conference are Marcus Brown, Pierce City; Jordan Jack and Isaac Hill, Miller; and Tanner Paradeis, Diamond.
Marionville's Dylan Stockton and Daniel Morris round out the area players on the Grin Iron roster.
The West Team's coaching staff is headed by Carthage Head Coach Jon Guidie. The West Team has won 11 of 13 contests.
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 more than 18,000 children with dental treatment valued at more than $10.3 million through 43,000 dental appointments.
The Grin Iron Classic will also feature tours of the Tooth Truck, ICON CHEER, the National Guard color guard, a visit from Ronald McDonald, concessions and commemorative programs and T-shirts. Last year's event raised nearly $60,000.
Tickets to the game are $6, with kids 6-and-under free. The game is presented by Delta Dental of Missouri and the Heart of the Ozarks Sertoma Club.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.