Camp for the 65th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic opens six weeks from today.
The head coaches - Ohio's Eric Schumacher (Conotton Valley) and West Virginia's Doug Taylor (Madonna) - have formally announced their rosters for the July 29th contest.
Each squad is comprised of 33 of the finest senior players from throughout the OVAC, which will spend a week together at Bethany College in preparation for the game, which West Virginia has captured the last two seasons.
The West Virginia coaching staff spent a lot of time reviewing films and talking to coaches as it made its selections for the game.
"It was a daunting task to say the least," Taylor said. "A lot of schools had great seasons with a lot of great, deserving players. It's certainly a tough task, but we feel we've got 33 pretty good players. We feel like we got a lot of high character kids, too, which is something we were definitely looking for."
Taylor selected two of his own players from last year's Madonna squad in Ryan Mozingo and Christian Roe.
After getting his own players chosen, Taylor went right to the Mountain State's big schools. Of his remaining 31 spots, 13 went to either Wheeling Park, Brooke, Morgantown, University, John Marshall or Parkersburg South.
The Patriots, who advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Bridgeport.
The Park will be represented by Boo Lathon, Vondel Bell, Lee Peluchette, Eli Stewart and Matt Carter.
Brooke's trio of players includes Robert Downing, Timmy Faulkner and Zack Massie.
Linsly, which finished its season with a spotless 10-0 record and the OVAC 2A title, had three players chosen, including Ricky Jordan, Neil Drennan and Adam Jones. Wheeling Central, which claimed the West Virginia Class A State Championship, also had three players selected. The Knights who will take part are Gino Bianconi, Erik Gompers and David Stanley.
Locally, Oak Glen will be represented by three standout players. The trio of players representing the Golden Bears are Lucas McDowell, Jeff Hissam and Dylan Davis.
The trio led the Golden Bears to a 9-1 regular season record, and Oak Glen advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling at Point Pleasant.
"We picked this team defense first and we started with the defensive line," Taylor said. "When we got to the offensive group, we also went with line first. We hope we don't have anyone playing both ways in this game. We're excited to get to camp and see what we have."
The Ohio coaching staff has had not only the task of picking players, but Schumacher was hired for this job after Mike Bigler resigned as Rockets' head coach earlier this spring.
However, most of the roster had been basically put together prior to the change.
"We're still waiting on a couple of kids (to commit), to be honest," Schumacher said. "We had a few kids turn it down, but most of the kids realize what kind of honor it is to play in this game and they're looking forward to taking advantage of it and getting to camp."
The Buckeye State roster is deep in the skill positions, which is exactly the approach Schumacher and Bigler took during the selection process.
"There was a lot of talent in the OVAC again this year," Schumacher said. "We've got some good-looking kids at the skill positions, and I think that will be a strength of our team. I really think we've got some guys who will allow us to move the ball up and down the field."
Schumacher's roster represents 20 of the conference's schools, including Seth Rutledge from the Rockets.
Martins Ferry leads the way, on the Ohio side, with four players taking part.
The Purple Riders chosen for the contest are Elliott Albert, Richie Padyjasek, Tyrel Simmons and C.J. Williams.
Steubenville is the only other Ohio school with as many as three selections. Representing Big Red are Michael Camilletti, William Houst and LeShawn Luke.
East Liverpool standout Marky Thompkins is the lone local player selected to represent the Buckeye State in the game.