Far Southwest Virginia seniors were well represented on the Blue team, which took a 14-6 win over the Red all-star squad at Virginia-Wise.
Union’s Mason Polier was one of two MVPs for the Blue defensive unit, and Holston’s Austin Faris was on the end of one of two Blue team touchdown passes.
“It was a great time. It was a really good played game,” said Polier, who wants to play football and wrestle in college. “It was great. A lot of these guys are going on to the next level and you kind of get a feel for what it’s going to be like.
“The game speed is a lot faster. It’s high-end competition and I love it. I love to compete.”
Polier, the Times News All-Southwest Virginia Defensive Player of the Year, is making collegiate visits next month and has not committed to a school.
Linebacker Mikey Culbertson of Region 1D runner-up J.I. Burton concurred about the faster speed of the game.
“It was definitely fun. It was a different experience. They’re a lot bigger than the regular 1A I see, so it’s kind of took some getting used to that,” Culbertson said. “It’s pretty fast, faster than me.”
Evan Bellamy of Eastside said he enjoyed playing on the same defense with Culbertson instead of going up against his Cumberland District rival again.
“I enjoyed it. It’s easier to tackle with him than tackle Mikey,” Bellamy said.
“It was a good football game and I enjoyed it. It’s not as stressful (as playing a regular-season game).”
Unlike his All-Star teammates, Eastside lineman Brayden Mullins wasn’t playing the final game of his high school career. Mullins will take part in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Atlanta next month.
“It was just a great time getting to play with players that you’ve played against for three or four years and getting to play with competition at your level and above,” Mullins said.
“It’s just a good time getting to meet these guys and getting to play with them.”
Honaker’s Chandler Hubbard and Trevor Dye, Penn State signee Levi Forrest and Hayden Whited of Richlands, and Abingdon’s Dylan Hale and Major Cook also participated in the contest featuring seniors from across the commonwealth.
Patrick Henry’s Zack Brown and Cody Smith were on the team but didn’t play because of injuries.
ON THE FIELD
Sunday’s game turned out to be a defensive struggle, though it didn’t appear to be headed that way early on.
The Blue scored on the first possession of the game when Ethan Reynolds of Chatham hit Kevin Gayles of Huguenot for a 53-yard pass play. Forrest added the PAT to put his side up 7-0 with less than two minutes off the clock.
The score stayed that way until the 4:35 mark of the first quarter when the Red team’s Kyle Lowe, out of Cosby near Richmond, kicked a 35-yard field goal to cut the Blue lead to 7-3. Lowe added a 31-yarder with 1:33 left in the second quarter, and the Blue went into halftime up 7-6.
That score held until Ashton Ashlock of Essex found Faris for a Blue team touchdown with 8:39 remaining. Forrest added the PAT for the final point of the game.