Washingtonville, OH (WYTV) – Going to college can be a very exciting time in your life. For 36 members of the Ohio squad participating in the 37th annual Penn-Ohio State Line Classic All-Star Football Game, this summer is going to be even more adventurous.
It will be a transition from leaving those high school days and starting a new capture in their lives. Saying good-bye to old friends and making new ones. With those chosen for the Ohio team, they have an opportunity to both play with some old team mates for one last time, but they also get the experience of playing alongside guys they never met before.
“It’s hard to comprehend that I’m going to be playing one last game, because after our last game I thought it was over,” East Palestine’s Devan Pudder remarked. “I’m not going to college to play football or anything like that. So this is just a huge honor and to be picked as one of the all-stars is just amazing. It’s truly just the greatest honor I could think of.”
It’s great, it’s an awesome feeling,” team mate Aaron Proakis said of having a chance to play with three other Bulldogs in the game. “When he (Pudder) called me and told me he was playing in the game I was all smiles all around. It means a lot more that I get to play with my team mates. It kind of gives me a little extra incentive too.”
Proakis and Pudder were both linemen from the Bulldogs 2015 ITCL Red Tier championship team where they helped propel them to a 7-4 record and a OHSAA playoff appearance. Joining them will be team mates Josh Pickett at running back and defensive back, along with Jarrod Figley at receiver and defensive back.
“It’s going to be fun getting to know them and playing with them instead of playing against them,” Pudder said of his new Ohio team mates. “It’s going to be strange, but it will be fun.”
South Range also has a couple former players participating in the game as J.R Renforth at linebacker and Ryan Sympson as a lineman will represent the Ohio squad. Together they helped led the Raiders to a 7-3 record in the 2015 season.
“It means a lot just because it’s the last game I’ll be able to play in in high school,” Renforth said. “It’s good to be playing with all these guys from Ohio and my buddy Ryan.”
“It means a lot because we are both going to head off to different places after this,” Renforth added. “It will be the last chance to go out and play football together.”
Renforth, who is also an outstanding wrestler, will continue his career in college on the mats.
“I was really excited when I heard that J.R. was also playing. It will be a lot of fun to play with him one last time before we head off to do our own thing,” Sympson said.
“It’s cool. It will be fun to make a lot of new friends,” Sympson remarked of the Ohio squad. “Some of them will be going to the same places we’ll be going next year and hopefully we can carry those new friendships on. It will be a lot of fun just playing with new people.”
“It’s a great honor,” Sympson said of being selected. “I think it will be a great experience meeting all these new guys and new coaches and get to play one last time in high school.”