Spencerville — Jerry Cooper knows the Western Buckeye League all-star football team will feature a lot of size. He is hoping his Northwest Conference/Midwest Athletic Conference team will make up for that with its team speed.
Cooper will lead his NWC/MAC team against the WBL in the 14th annual Van Wert County Hospital All-Star game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Van Wert’s Eggerss Stadium.
“It’s all about the kids having a good experience,” Cooper said. “It’s not just the experience of the game, it’s the experience of the fellowship of the guys you get to play with, the guys you’ve been competing with the last three and four years.”
Cooper also pointed out his players get one more case to showcase the talent they have.
“We talk about showcasing your talents a little bit,” Cooper said. “Get on the field and show people what a good football player you are and why you were selected to play in this game.”
The NWC/MAC offense will be very similar to the offense that Cooper uses at Lima Central Catholic. Mason Acheson (Ada) and Casey Crow (Allen East) will be under center and Kellen Decker (Ada) and Jon Washington (LCC) will be in the backfield. Quinten Wessell (Delphos Jefferson) will play fullback.
“I think that the fact that we have a bunch of good athletes is our strength,” Cooper said. “Our linemen are nice sized and our athletes are good skill guys. It’s a really good combination. We would make a really good high school team if we had all of these guys.”
Jacob Ansley (Ada) will be the key to the NWC/MAC’s passing game. Ansley will play several different positions ranging from wide receiver to running back.
“I think the way that coach Cooper runs his offense is definitely to our benefit,” Ansley said. “We have some good athletes on the offensive side of the ball. Being out here with all of the kids you competed against during the season is a lot of fun.”
The NWC/MAC’s defense will hope to contain the WBL’s spread offensive look.
Leading the defense at middle linebacker will be Crestview’s Jake Harmon.
“It’s a great opportunity to play with these guys,” Harmon said. “They’re all stars for a reason. We have some massive dudes down in our defensive line. As big as they are helps them plug up holes and hopefully they do that on Friday.”