They’re ready for some football
The high school football season is still months away, but Friday night will have the feel of autumn as 100 of the top players in the state showcase their talents in the 34th annual Shriners All-Star Classic at Gillette Stadium.
The North and South teams were selected by each coaching staff in January.
The North squad will be coached by Austin Prep’s Bill Maradei, who became the winningest Catholic high school football coach in state history with his 237th victory in 2011, surpassing former BC High coach Jim Cotter.
Bruce Rich (Chelmsford), Brian Aylward (Tewksbury), Mike Robichaud (Concord-Carlisle), Scott Wlasuk (Peabody) and John Campanale (St. Mark’s) will be assistant coaches.
Coaching the South squad is BC High’s Jon Bartlett, who led his squad to a 10-3 record and captured the Division 1 Super Bowl in 2011 before handing the coaching duties to defensive coordinator Joe Gaff. Assisting Bartlett will be Bill Reardon (Quincy), Dale Olmstead (Millis), John McIntyre (Bourne), Jim Artz (Oliver Ames), and Kevin Mackin (Weymouth).
“It’s been good, the coaches are real receptive for one another and the kids have enjoyed themselves as well and worked hard,’’ Bartlett said.
“It’s tough to gauge where you are in two weeks [of practice] and where the other team is, but I’m sure it will be a competitive game.’’
The game will benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international pediatric specialty health care system.
Because of the support from Aleppo Shriners and the Football Classic, Shriners Hospitals have been able to raise more than $1,000,000 for the charity.
General Admission tickets are $15 and all proceeds go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.