40th Annual Penn-Ohio All-Star Game kicks off it’s festivities

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Festivities for the 40th annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic kicked-off Sunday night as players and their families representing the Ohio team were treated to a tour of the Lou Holtz Museum in East Liverpool, followed by a dinner at the East Liverpool High School.  The Dinner was prepared by the Wellsville Sons of Italy.

The game will be played Wednesday, June 26
th at Reeves Stadium, Geneva College in Beaver Falls with kickoff set for 7:00 PM.  Tickets for the game are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate.  Thirty-six players representing 19 schools will be participating in the game.  East Liverpool coach Josh Ludwig will be the head coach for the Ohio team.

The Ohio team is currently enjoying a three-year win streak as they are coming off a thrilling 22-20 win last year in Salem.  The Buckeyes won in 2017, 21-20 and again in 2016, 10-7.

East Palestine Coach Tony Foster, who is president of the Quad County Coaches Association called the dinner to order and players and their families were introduced by the coaching staffs of the schools being represented.   Following the dinner, the Ohio coordinator Nick Haught and coach Ludwig met with the players while the families were given information on program sponsorships.

“It’s amazing,” Potters linebacker and tight end Troy Croskey exclaimed.  “It’s going to be awesome to play with all of these guys, all of them are great at their positions so it’s going to be fun.  I played against some of these guys and I know some of these guys.”

“Our whole coaching staff is going to be there.  I can’t wait to see what all the guys think about our coaches,” Croskey said with a laugh.  “They are pretty amazing coaches.  I can tell them (other players) which coach is which, I’ll help them out.”

For Springfield’s Shane Enyon this marks his second all-star game as he is coming off a win in the Ohio North-South game last weekend, “It was a lot of fun.  All those players are going to division 1 schools, and it was a cool atmosphere at Paul Brown Stadium, using an indoor practice facility and staying at a hotel before the game.  That game was a lot of fun, but this game (Penn-Ohio), I feel is going to be a lot better.  That game I met new people, but this game we have been playing against each other for years and we finally get to be on the same team.”

“Luke (Snyder), Zack (Stouffer) and (Brannon) Brungard, we have been together for a long time, since Little Tigers.  It has been us four, we always hung out the most out of everyone, so we are the closest,” Enyon described the excitement of playing with his Springfield teammates one more time.

With this year being a special anniversary of the game, the first coaches of both the Ohio and Pennsylvania teams will be honorary coaches in this contest.  Both coach Art Altomare and John Gecina, who split duties in that first contest back in 1980 will serve as the Buckeye squads honorary coaches.  Altomare was head coach in the game four times, while Gecina served as a head coach twice.

“This is a real honor,” Gecina remarked.  “I was really happy when Larry (Baughman) asked me to be a coach.  I really enjoyed coaching and if I could make a difference for just one kid a year it was worth it.”

“It means a lot,” Altomare added.  “Another coach, Bud Johnson got another job and that’s how we got the job.  John and I worked well together and had a great time.  It’s (coaching) always been a part of me, and this is a big honor.”

Baughman, who previously served as the game’s coordinator and is now the treasurer for the Quad County Coaches Association, is assembling as many former coaches and players as possible for the 40 anniversary.  He hopes to gather players and coaches to take a commemorative photo at the June 18
th
practice.  Baughman may be contacted at Columbiana High School.

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