SIDNEY — Sidney seniors AJ Brussell and Dylan Smith will work on the offensive line together one more time on Friday.
Brussell and Smith, who helped lead the blocking of one of the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s most prolific offenses last year, will play on the North squad during the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association’s 35th All-Star Game on Friday at Centerville High School. The game is for just-graduated seniors.
The game traditionally is a mix of players who will go on to compete in college and those hitting the field for the last time. Brussell will attend Captial to play football and baseball, while Friday will be the last time in pads for Smith.
“For a guy like AJ, it’s going to be his first experience of being around new guys,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “These (games) are a week-and-a-half crapshoot on putting in the offense and all that kind of stuff. It’ll be his first experience in hearing just a little bit of different terminology and being able to translate it back to what we’ve done. Or it maybe they’re having him do something completely different. So this will be a good way for him to get his feet wet a little bit for when he goes to Capital.
“For a guy like Dylan, it is his last chance to get to do it. Even though you’re with those teammates for maybe two weeks from the time you meet to the time to have the game… it’s a neat thing. It’s interesting how quickly you can bond with someone in a two- or three-week period.”
Doenges, who coached in the game last year and coached in the Ohio Football Coaches Association North/South game last April, nominated the duo to play in the game.
Brussell and Smith helped block for one of the most prolific offenses in school history. Sidney averaged 472 yards and 41.2 points per game in regular season and was second in both categories in the 20-team GWOC. Brussell was second team all-GWOC American North while Smith was special mention.
Northmont coach Tony Broering is the coach of the North squad this year, while Chaminade-Julienne coach Marcus Colvin is leading the South team. The North has been practicing the last two weeks at Northmont, and Doenges said he’s gotten good feedback from Broering on Smith and Brussell.
“He’s been saying how smart they are and how great they are to be around,” Doenges said.
Brussell and Smith will have an advantage on the offensive line on Friday. The defenses are prohibited from blitzing — a move that is designed to help get more points scored.
Sidney offensive lineman Tony Straman was originally slated to participate but had to drop out due to conflicts with his job.
Brussell and Smith also played baseball for Sidney. Brussell intends to major in Business at Captial while Smith is going to study Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ohio State.
Among other notable players on the North roster is Vandalia-Butler running back Logan Fiatt, Trotwood-Madison quarterback Markell Stephens-Peppers and Piqua wide receiver Hayden Schrubb.
Stephens-Peppers threw for 2,438 yards and 36 touchdowns with four interceptions last year for the Rams, which won the Division III state title. Fiatt rushed for 1,286 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Aviators and Schrubb led Piqua with 911 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
The MVFCA will induct three head coaches into its hall of fame prior to Friday’s game. Former Fairmont and Springfield coach Rick Robertson, former Meadowdale coach Pat Masters and former Piqua and Milton-Union coach Wat Farrar will be inducted.
Tickets are $7 at the gate on Friday.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.
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