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Area players prepare for all-star game

by Greg Talkington


(June 13) For many players, the annual North-South Football Classic is a final opportunity to show off their skills to family and friends. For others, it's a chance to show college coaches their abilities.

For at least one of the five Harrison County athletes participating in the game, there's hope a good performance will enhance his chance of making it at the next level.

"Yes, I'm viewing this as a test," said Robert C. Byrd's Marshall Cox. "I haven't committed yet and I'm hoping a good performance will make a few more coaches look in my direction."

Cox is taking his college entrance exams today, and will report to training camp this afternoon at West Virginia State College.

"If I pass the ACT and do well in the game, I may walk-on at WVU or Marshall," Cox, a 5-11, 240-pound lineman-linebacker, said. "If the interest isn't there, I have an offer from Glenville State. Fairmont (State College) has talked to me too."

Other county players participating in the contest include Bridgeport's Zach Anglin (K), Liberty's Shawn Bennett (OL-LB), Robert C. Byrd's Jon Calvert (RB-DE) and South Harrison's Brent Fenstermacher (FB-LB).

Members of both squads are expected to report to camp today at West Virginia State College in Institute. The game is set for next Saturday at Charleston's Laidley Field.

Anglin, who will handle kicking and punting duties, already knows what he'll be doing this fall. He's accepted an invitation to walk-on at West Virginia University.

Still, he views the game as a chance to showcase his powerful leg in front of a statewide audience.

"I'm really pleased that I'm getting this opportunity," Anglin said. "Most people around here know what I can do. This will give me a chance to show some different people what I'm capable of."

Anglin, who is currently in Tennessee participating in a Palomino League baseball tournament with Clarksburg Moose, will report to camp on Sunday.

Bennett and Fenstermacher, who have signed to play at Fairmont State, are thankful for the opportunity to play.

"I'm just real excited about getting a chance to play," Bennett said. "This is the best honor I've ever gotten and a chance to play against the best in the state."

Said Fenstermacher, "I'm real pleased. I view it as an opportunity to see how I compare to other players in the state."

Calvert, who is undecided about his athletic future, believes he'll play offense in the game.

"When I talked to the coaches, it sounded like I would play some fullback and that would suit me fine," Calvert said. "Of course, I'll play defense too if they want me to."

In addition to the athletes, Robert C. Byrd head coach Richard Iaquinta will serve as a North assistant.

"I think all the kids from Harrison County will contribute," he said. "There are many kids from the area on the roster, but a few that should have been who declined."

Conspicuously missing from the North roster are two talented quarterbacks. Moorefield's Will Fisher and Grafton's Brian Gillespie are not playing.

"It's a shame, because the North is always the big underdog in this game and not having the best players really hurts," Iaquinta said. "We could build a real good passing game around some of those guys."

Other area player participating in the game include: North Marion's Todd Anderson and Ben Collins, Clay-Battelle's Stan Dean, University's Travis Drvar and Ed Velickoff, Petersburg's Jeff Feaster, Grafton's Jay Garrett and Brad Westfall, Elkins' Zach Kerns, Morgantown's Ben Marstiller and Dave Mullett, East Fairmont's Pat Padula, Preston's Jason Sisler and St. Marys' Derek Staron.