Football Stars, and some Coaches, Play Ball One Last Time

Published 07/12 2014 07:20PM

Updated 07/12 2014 07:24PM

BLOOMINGTON - High school football is a little over a month away, and before some of last year's graduating seniors head off for college, you have a chance to watch them one last time.

This is the 40th year for the Illinois High School Shriner's All-Star Game.

Last season's top prep seniors from around the state will battle it out in an east-west team format.

Small school players get to be paired up the with large school guys.

Many of the players will be playing college ball come fall, but to say they are anxious to suit up, one final time, as a prep all star would be an understatement.

Bloomington All-Star Austin Weltha said, "It is the best guys in the state. I feel pretty special and honored to be here, that I am well enough to hang with them and just do my thing, I guess. Just to come out here and do my best and show that I deserve to be here, really."

Tri-Valley All-Star Caleb Wilson added, "No matter how big, no matter how small, it's an accomplishment to be able to play with the best high school football players in Illinois. I mean, we're all, we're all going it for the kids, and that is what it's all about. It's all about having fun."

And while this is the last prep game for many Seniors, this is also a swan song for one long time area coach.

Former Farmington coach Casey Martin will help lead the east side.

Martin has spent the last eight years, slowly turning around the Farmers football program.

He stepped down after last season to spend more time with his family.

Martin said he plans to make the most out of his last game as a high school coach.

"The one thing is you know it's it," he said. "You know when you coach high school football and you are in the playoffs, you know that each game could may or may not be your last game, but you know this is it. I'm going to make it fin. I want it to be fun. I'm great that I get to go through this with Brenden (Menacher); he's one of my all-time favorite players, and I'm excited more than anything.

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