Fort Campbell's Shawn Berner and his staff led the West Kentucky High School Football All Stars to a 29-12 victory over Southern Illinois at Stewart Stadium Saturday night. I would like to say that I got to see a lot of the game but unfortunately I did not. My duties as game director kept me hopping most of the night.
An estimated crowd of over 700 attended the game which may be a record. I am infinitely thankful to the media in West Kentucky for helping promote this game. I spent many years helping with football but I will admit that this was a big undertaking and could not have been accomplished without help.
The West Ky. players arrived last Wednesday to the Murray State Campus to check-in and begin practice. Players spent 3 days at MSU to prepare for the game. It's no easy task to feed and keep up with over 45 players. I want to thank Janeen Winters at Murray State for her assistance in helping arrange all our meals. Mike Thieke, facilities and game management coordinator at MSU provided me the crown jewel of help by enlisting the services of Mark "Bones" Perschel. The game went off without a hitch thanks to "Bones" who constantly help me put out fires and keep my head above water. In a stadium that big it was impossible for me to manage everything in a timely matter. "Bones" is actually the football video coordinator but he did it all Saturday night. He gets my MVP award!!
Lance Harper served as the Trainer all week and provided an invaluable service. I'm not sure anybody put in the time he did. Lance has been the trainer at Mayfield High School but has accepted the position as trainer for Murray High School.
Dave Winder, MSU Asst. Athletic Director, was gracious enough to provide us Kyle Rogers who served as our PA announcer. Mike Thieke was able to hire Ross MeLoan on our behalf as the score/clock keeper. We started the week with not many folks on board and I appreciate Mike and Dave putting up with my many visits begging for help. I also want to thank John Brush for help and advice as well as Fulton an MSU Trainer who provided us use of his training rooom for the week.
I have to hand it to Coach Berner and the staff he chose to serve as coaches for the game. They wanted to win and took this event very seriously all week. Ron Barnard of Marshall County High School served as the Defensive Coordinator while Scott Lowe of Fort Campbell served as the Offensive Coordinator. Other positions coaches were: John Hedges of Reidland, Nate Moore, Tyrone Johnson and Kenny Caver all of from Fort Campbell.
My thanks to WKFCA President Steve Lovelace of Christian County HS and WKFCA Treasurer Bob Nelson of Russellville for their assistance.
The Murray State Football Staff made themselves available at every turn to provide assistance when we needed it. Many thanks to Coach Hatcher and Coach Faulkner for all their help. All in all a good week and a great game. I look forward to next year and hopefully growing and improving this game.