White ready for annual North/South All-Star Game

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2003

COLUMBUS - Matt White has one more high school football game to play. And it's quite a game.

The former Ironton Fighting Tigers All-Ohio fullback and linebacker will join a host of talent in the 58th annual Grange Insurance Ohio High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic at 7 p.m. Saturday at Crew Stadium.

The game features 68 of the top Ohio senior players from last season.

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"There are a lot of good players here," White said.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound White was selected as a linebacker although he gained much more attention as a bruising fullback in the Ironton Fighting Tigers offense.

He helped Ironton to an 8-3 record an a berth in the regional semifinals.

White could play fullback or linebacker. The South squad lists only three running backs: Ty Simmons of Gallipolis, Jeremiah Bolden of Portsmouth and Drew Cannon of New Lexington. All three are halfbacks.

White was the focal point of the Ironton offense last season. He carried 203 times for 1,083 yards in eight and half games, led the team in scoring with 18 touchdowns and 110 points, and also caught four passes for 87 yards.

The South roster will include Ohio State verbal recruit Brandon Maupin (6-6, 280, DL) of Lakota West, quarterback Ben Mauk of Div. IV two-time state champion Kenton, and Notre Dame recruits Brady Quinn (6-4, 215, QB) and Chinedum Ndukwe (6-3, 205, WR) of Dublin Coffman.

The idea of having quarterbacks like Mauk and Quinn throwing the ball had White excited.

The South head coach is Curt Clifford of Portsmouth. Assistant coaches are Kurry Cummins of Cincinnati Mt. Healthy, Marty Arganbright of Coshocton, Gregg Miller of Columbus Brookhaven, Bill Nutt of New Lexington and Andy Olds of King Mills Kings.

The North leads the series 32-22-3 after rallying for a 27-26 win last year. The South built a 26-3 lead, but the North rallied with the help of special all-star game rules.

If a team is behind by more than 10 points, the losing team gets to receive the kickoff even though it just scored.