By Chris Chaney
Seven outgoing local senior football players got to suit up in their high school pads on last time on Thursday, June 11 at Kings High School in the 40th edition of the Southwest Ohio Football Coaches Association Ron Woyan East vs. West All-Star Game with the East defeating the West, 40-20.
As an added bonus, Glen Este head football coach Nick Ayers was chosen to lead the East squad after taking the Trojans to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
It was great,” Ayers said. “I’ve had some family play in the game, I’ve played in the game. It was a lot of fun and a really cool experience.”
Ayers was able to coach a pair of his own players, Josh Bohart and Zach Vespie, as well as Amelia’s T.J. Reed, Batavia’s KeShawn Foley, Milford’s Drew Ashcraft, New Richmond’s Tyler Anderson and Williamsburg’s Mason Hall.
“I think Clermont County talent is an untapped resource,” Ayers said. “We don’t get the recruiters in our area like Hamilton County does, but I think it’s starting to swing a little bit and I think it’s only going to get better.”
The exposure that local football players will be getting was validated by the performance put on by a number of the locals competing in the SWOFCA game last week.
Batavia’s Foley, a three-time Southern Buckeye Conference All-Star quarterback, showed his athleticism by lining up out wide for Ayers’ team and forming an immediate rapport with the Eagles’ Ashcraft who was under center.
Foley caught seven passes from Ashcraft for 149 yards and three scores. Ashcraft finished the night with 366 passing yards and five TDs, both game records.
“Drew and KeShawn seemed like they have been playing together forever,” Ayers said. “They had a chemistry that was really good and impressive. A lot of how KeShawn shined was because of Drew.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Glen Este’s Vespie and Amelia’s Reed impressed. Ayers said his former defensive lineman was all over the field while Reed led the East defensive unit with five tackles, two of which were for a loss.
The East victory was the eighth in the last nine playing of the game. The potent East offense outscored the West All-Stars 458 yards to 206.
For Ayers, the 2015 All-Stars and perhaps most importantly, the future players of the game coming out of Clermont County, a solid showing by the East All-Stars is another step in the right direction for Eastside football.
“It will help; I think it impressed several schools how well (local) kids played,” Ayers said. “Things will continue to get better. We need to do our jobs as coaches and get kids the best opportunities they can have going into their senior year of football and throughout the rest of their careers.”
An added component of the night was the scholarships handed out to area high school seniors. Tim Woyan, the All-Star Game Director reported that more than $12,000 in scholarship funds were awarded at half time of the event.
More information about the SWOFCA, the annual All-Star Game and scholarship opportunities is available at swofca.com.
East 40, West 20
E – Wahler 3 pass from Ashcraft (kick fail)
E – Foley 27 pass from Ashcraft (Woeste kick)
W – Riley 29 pass from Reynolds (kick fail)
E- Foley 35 pass from Barnes (kick fail)
W – Pitts 1 run (kick fail)
E – Beach 14 pass from Ashcraft (kick fail)
E – Foley 3 pass from Ashcraft (Cobbs 2 pass from Wahler)
E – Beach 7 pass from Ashcraft; Barnett 65 run after lateral (Woeste kick)
W – Pitts 45 pass from Reynolds (Steele 2 pass from Reynolds)