Several area players set for all-star game
By CONOR NICHOLL
By CONOR NICHOLL
In Weskan High School coach Marc Cowles' eyes, sometimes eight-man coaches have trouble filling the eight-man all-star game roster with quality offensive and defensive linemen.
This year, though, the West had plenty of talent across the lines, and Cowles said several solid players weren't picked for Saturday's annual Eight-Man Division II East vs. West all-star game at Beloit's Trojan Field. The Eight-Man Division I game starts at 10 a.m. with the Division II contest to follow at 1:30 p.m.
The West's line play will likely be the key factor in the Division II contest. The East is expected to run Baileyville B&B's spread offense that includes Falcon quarterback Dustin Rottinghaus and standout receivers Cameron Haug and Blake Deters. B&B went 12-1 and won the state championship last fall.
Rottinghaus led the way with 157 completions in 281 attempts for 2,666 yards and 46 scores against six interceptions.
"Hopefully you can defend him with a great pass rush," Cowles, the Division II West head coach, said.
Cowles will have a mix of players on the lines. Wallace County's Dalton Walker will start at nose guard, Weskan's Leyton Miller and Dighton's Ben Speer at defensive end and Wilson's Marcus Denham will come into the mix, too.
"Hope to slow him down a little bit," Cowles said.
Wallace County's Kyle Gfeller will handle the majority of snaps at quarterback, with Weskan's Hayden Walker and Logan's Brett Pinkerton as backups. Otis-Bison's Kole Urban, likely a defensive back, twisted his ankle in practice and is unlikely to play.
"I like the mix of kids that we have," Cowles said.
Almena-Northern Valley's Jordan Baird will start at running back, and Natoma's Jackson Meiers will play cornerback and possibly some in the return game. Gfeller will handle the kicking duties.
On the offensive line, Northern Valley's Ian Vincent and Victoria's Trenton Klaus are at the guards and Triplains-Brewster's Seth Smith will play center. Victoria's Nathan Kuhn is in the mix at offensive line, too.
"The majority of depth is on the offensive and defensive lines," Cowles said.