New Ohio-Michigan All-Star Game Around the Corner?
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio and Michigan. The way it should be, but will it be?
After four straight losses to Ohio, the state of Pennsylvania has pulled the plug on its matchup with the Buckeye State in the annual Big 33 Football Classic.
Nicknamed “The Super Bowl of High School Football,” the 55th installment of the Big 33 game will feature top high school football players from Pennsylvania against those from the state of Maryland, leaving Ohio without a partner for the dance.
That may not last long, however. The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) recently concluded its year-end meeting following the 2012 state finals and one of the proposals to come out of this year’s meeting was an annual all-star game between Ohio and that state up north.
According to the OHSFCA website, negotiations between the two sides are ongoing, but it appears as though the first game could be played at the University of Toledo in June of 2014, with a game somewhere in Michigan during the Summer of 2015.
Reportedly, Michigan coach Brady Hoke would love to host that game at the Big House in Ann Arbor, but that seems unlikely as long as Urban Meyer is roaming the sidelines at Ohio State.
Another proposed site for the Michigan location is Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in Ypsilanti, which is about 20 minutes east of Ann Arbor.
North-South Game Has a New Home
Another change to the Ohio High School football all-star circuit will be a new location for the annual North-South All Star Football game. It has been held in Columbus since 2001, when Jim Tressel became the head coach at Ohio State, but the OHSFCA has agreed to play the 2013 game at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.
In fact, there will be two North-South all star games at Welcome Stadium on April 27, 2013, as the OHSFCA directors voted to split the game by divisions. There will now be one game for Division I-III kids and another for Division IV-VI kids, thus doubling the number of all-stars for 2013.
The reason for the change in venue, according to the OHSFCA website, is a desire to do more events in Southwest Ohio, because most of the major events occur in the Northeast (state finals) and Central (North-South) part of the state.
One other major change to come out of this year’s annual OHSFCA meeting was the real possibility of spring football in Ohio. It’s something that has been bantered about for years, yet always seems to find itself on the back burner.
That could be about to change. According to the OHSFCA website, an initiative is being formed that would include 10 hours of expanded instruction with a ball in the spring. This would allow coaches to get with their players – something that is a mainstay in southern states – but players in Ohio would not be permitted to wear helmets or pads during the spring.
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