57th Annual North/South All-Star Game




COLUMBUS – Sixty-eight of the best high-school football players in Ohio will take the field Saturday, June 22 when the Grange Insurance Ohio All-Star Classic is played at Columbus Crew Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. 

The 57th Annual Ohio All-Star Classic, the longest-running all-star football game in the country, features most of the top graduating seniors in the state. Thirteen members of Ohio State's 2002 recruiting class – including quarterback Justin Zwick (Massillon Washington), linebackers Bobby Carpenter (Lancaster) and Mike Kudla (Medina Highland) and wide receiver Roy Hall (Brush) – will participate in the game, while 24 of the game's 68 players have accepted scholarships to Big Ten Conference universities. 

"We are proud to bring together the best high-school football players in Ohio for this game," said Steve Gilbert, president of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association and head coach at Tiffin Columbian. "This is the premier all-star football game in the country and is the last chance to see these outstanding student-athletes play before many of them go on to play at some of the top Division I schools in the country." 

This year's Ohio All-Star Classic will return to Columbus Crew Stadium, where the game was played for the first time in 2001. The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association worked with the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau and Columbus Crew Stadium to move the game to Columbus last year after it was held in Massillon 19 of the previous 21 years and in Massillon, Canton or Akron each year since 1977. A title sponsorship agreement with Columbus-based Grange Insurance will keep the Ohio All-Star Classic in Columbus through at least 2004. 

"Grange Insurance is proud to sponsor this classic sports event and we salute the fine young athletes who are competing. Grange is committed to supporting young people and through the Most Valuable Player scholarship donation we can also recognize their excellence," said Phil Urban, president and CEO of Grange Insurance. " As Chairman of the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau, I want to promote bringing events such as this to Columbus. This is a wonderful opportunity for Grange and for our independent agents throughout the state to support the Classic and the student athletes in their communities." 

John Gibbons of Lakewood St. Edward will coach the North squad this year and will be assisted by Tom Lombardo (Mentor Lake Catholic), Bob Olwin (Sherwood Fairview), Paul Hulea (Poland Seminary), Stan Jefferson (Mansfield Senior) and Ralph Orsini (Akron Hoban). John Rodenberg of Cincinnati McNicholas will coach the South squad and will be assisted by Tim Goodwin (Marion Local), Rob Carpenter (Lancaster), Ty Fleming (Shadyside), Steve Bartlett (Dayton Carroll) and Paul Nestor (Zanesville Rosecrans). 

Ohio All-Star Classic players and coaches will arrive in Columbus on Sunday, June 16. A Media Preview Day will be held at Columbus Crew Stadium at 2:30 p.m. on June 16. The players and coaches will make a variety of public appearances throughout the week, including a visit to Columbus Children's Hospital, Columbus City Council and a Columbus Crew soccer game. The Ohio All-Star Classic Scholarship Banquet will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21 at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café. The teams will practice at Otterbein College and Columbus Crew Stadium throughout the week in preparation for the game. 

The Grange Insurance Ohio All-Star Classic will be televised to a statewide audience on the Ohio News Network (ONN), a 24-hour, news, weather and sports network. 


WHO: 68 of the top high school football players in Ohio

WHERE: Columbus Crew Stadium

WHEN: Saturday, June 22. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Cost is $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Advance tickets available by calling the Crew Stadium at 614-447-CREW or by visiting the stadium ticket office.

TELEVISION: Ohio News Network (ONN)

MEDIA PREVIEW DAY: All Ohio All-Star Classic players and coaches will be available at the Ohio All-Star Classic Media Preview Day at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 16 at Columbus Crew Stadium.

CREDENTIALS: Please direct requests to Brent LaLonde at blalonde@columbuscvb.org, via fax at 614-222-6143 or at 90 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio, 43215. No credentials are needed to cover the Media Preview. 

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