Courtesy: Xcel Sports Training
The U.P. Football All-Star Game continued its giving ways by announcing that two U.P. high school football teams will receive donations from the game this year. Superior Central and the Bessemer-Wakefield-Marenisco football programs will each receive one thousand dollars, which can be used for anything that benefits the football program."When this game was started, it was always a goal that we would eventually be able to donate directly to all of the high school football programs throughout the U.P.", said Todd Goldbeck. The schools are picked at random each year. Once a school has been selected, that school will be removed from the lottery until all other schools have been chosen once, then the selection process starts over again. "The lottery is a very fun way to select the schools", said Goldbeck. "Every program is eligible, and it does not matter how successful the team is; everyone has a chance and gets a turn. It is very important that all U.P. programs are supported, so that each school can maintain a competitive team. I was very pleased to hear the Bessemer-Wakefield-Mareniso program just decided to change their name to the Gogebic Miners, as well as designate new team colors. That means they will need to purchase all new helmets and uniforms, and the donation from the All-Star Game is much-needed and appreciated. That is what the All-Star Game is all about." Every U.P. football program will get an equal donation from the all-star game, in the amount of one thousand dollars. The more successful the game is, the more schools can receive donations each year, and the quicker the process starts over again. "This game would not be possible without the schools providing a positive environment for all of these student-athletes to succeed. Giving back to their football programs will hopefully help each school continue their individual football tradition", states Goldbeck. The football team of each school may choose to use the money in a number of ways. Equipment, maintenance, weight room and uniforms are just a few places that the school may decide will be the most effective use of the funds. In addition to the two schools selected, the East and West All-Star head coaches will receive half of the footballs used during the week leading up to the game. There are 36 new footballs each year, so both All-Star head coaches get to take home 18 footballs, which have only been used a few times during the week. This year, Menominee and Baraga will get those footballs. Also, all of the practice jerseys are donated to U.P. football programs. There is a full set of white jerseys with maroon numbers that are going to North Dickinson High School, and the black jerseys with white numbers are being given to Cedarville High School. The jerseys only have numbers on the front and back, so schools may decide to have their own team name put on them, if they will be used for games. Other notable donations included over five hundred pounds of food for the Beacon House food pantry, as well as cash donations to the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame and Bay Cliff Health Camp, which are two organizations that operate on contributions from the community. Lastly, during the game, the Ishpeming Football parents and boosters helped sell 50/50 tickets, and in return they received a spilt of the proceeds that came back to the All-Star Game, which turned out to be three hundred dollars. "When the game is over, I always want to be in a position to say, The All-Star Game did very well again this year. We gave back to many different groups/schools and the players had fun throughout the week. That is what All-Star Week is all about."