Fifty of the top football talents District 6 has to offer will strap on their pads tonight in the annual Idaho National Guard East Idaho All-Star Game at Shelley High School.
The game pits top talents from District 5 against players from District 6 and is a chance for players one final game and college scouts one more look at departing seniors.
District 6 won the 2013 game 35-28 thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Shelley quarterback Chad Leckington. That game featured 860 total yards, including 630 passing yards.
With nine running backs, seven receivers and a roster littered with players from Salmon to Teton to Firth, District 6 coach Travis Hobson said he aims to keep things simple and play to his players’ individual strengths.
The teams have been practicing all week at Shelley, and by the end of practice Wednesday, Idaho Falls High School senior linebacker Brayden Andrus was itching to go.
“I’m looking forward to being able to read blocks, and it’s nice because I’m playing around guys who are really good, even
if I mess up a little bit, they can pick up the slack, and vice versa,” Andrus said.
Players will wear all-star jerseys to represent the district, and their own helmets to represent their school. Idaho Falls has 11 players on the District 6 team, offering Andrus a measure of comfort and familiarity.
“To have (linemen) Jake Hobbes and Cody Johnstone on the defensive line in front of me where they were all year gives me a lot of confidence,” Andrus said. “I think everyone up here wants to showcase the best of the sixth district.”
Just over 1,800 tickets were sold for the 2013 game, 1,400 more than Hobson was expecting. With quarterbacks Jedd Tibbitts (Salmon), Zak Bennett (Skyline) and A.J. Martin
taking snaps, Hobson expects tonight’s attendees will get quite a show for their entertainment dollar.
Post Register All-Area Player of the Year Clayton Powell headlines the District 6 receiving corps, and Andrus has a message for District 5 defenders from places like Malad, American Falls and Snake River who have never shared a field with the speedy senior.
“He is deceptively agile,” Andrus said. “He can blow anybody away, and he’s really hard to tackle. He gets so low to the ground and he’s hard to grab on to.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.