CENTERVILLE — A pair of Greenville football players walked away from their high school careers as winners Friday night.
Offensive lineman Braden Russell and defensive lineman Landin Brown suited up one last time as members of the winning North squad in the 35th annual Miami Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star game held at Centerville. Although the game was shortened to slightly more than one quarter of play due to inclement weather, the North squad emerged victorious 13-7, winning the event for the fourth time in the last six years. The North team now holds the series edge, 23-12.
“It was awesome just to get out there and play again,” Russell said. “I mean it’s an all-star game for the Southwest District, so it was a real special honor to come here and play.”
Brown agreed with being honored to play in the game.
“Like Braden said, it’s an honor just being selected to play in this game,” Brown said. “I thought it was awesome just getting to play with him one last time.
“The practices were intense, but fun,” he continued. “There is a lot of talent out here and it was fun playing with some of the Trotwood players because you’re playing with the best of the best. It was pretty cool because you know you are going up against these guys and these teams and you’re always butting heads with each other, but now it’s like we’re all coming together and working as one unit. It’s pretty unique and pretty cool.”
Russell felt the same way about joining forces with players he had played against for most of his high school career.
“We’re all done with high school now so there was no rivalry,” Russell said. “We all just got to know each other and we picked it up like it was nothing and everything was pretty smooth. It was a good dynamic.”
Both Russell and Brown will continue playing football at the next level. Russell is headed to Valparaiso University and Brown will be going to Indiana Wesleyan University. And both players said they were sent off-season workout schedules from their respective schools.
“They sent out a packet for winter, spring and summer workouts,” Brown said. “They had us on a strict regiment for the majority of the year and that really helped in coming out here so I wasn’t completely rusty.”
Both players also said they will miss playing for Greenville and are happy with the new stadium.
“Playing for Greenville has been a good time,” Russell said. “I hope they continue to work and get better.
“I think the stadium is awesome,” he continued. “It’s long overdue, but it is definitely a good step forward.”
Added Brown, “I’m real excited for the future of Greenville football. I can’t wait to come back in a few years and see how well they are doing.”
The MVFCA All-Star game has generated nearly $100,000 in college scholarships since it began 35 years ago. It also has entertained nearly 130,000 fans, according to All-Star game director John Aregood.
Scholarships this year were awarded to Tori Childers (Edgewood High School), Tyler Cory (Tecumseh), Kassidy Driskell (Clark Shawnee), Jack Mitchell (Vandalia Butler), David Moyer (Dayton Christian), Emma Parker (Southeastern), Kyle Walker (Fairborn), Matt Jarzab (Clark Shawnee), Colin Genslinger (Valley View), Kaylee Wheat (Brookville) and Josie Spitzer (Shawnee).
The MVFCA All-Star game was created in 1975 originally featuring Montgomery County all-stars playing against Butler and Warren county all-stars. Eventually, the teams were divided into North and South with State Route 35 being the dividing line. The game has been played at several locations including Welcome Stadium, Stebbins, Wayne, Fairmont, West Carrollton and now Centerville high schools.