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Wildcats see �stars� as summer football beckons

By Collin Glomstead
posted April 18, 2011

Business will combine with charity as the Wildcat varsity football brain trust will coach in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association�s (WFCA) annual High School All-Star Game on Saturday, July 16 at Titan Stadium. Varsity Head Coach Ken Levine will serve as the offensive coordinator for Ashwaubenon head coach Mark Jonas, who will lead the north team in the all-star game. John Burke and Joe Wagner will be handling the offensive line and running backs as well.

Jonas went through a rigorous process to be chosen as head coach for the north squad.

�You have to apply to be the head coach and he applied for the position which is very nice of him because it is a ton of work,� said Levine. �Once you�re chosen to be head coach, that head coach can choose whoever he wants to be his assistants.�

Levine, Burke, and Wagner were hand picked by Jonas himself.

�He used to be the coach at Kaukauna so he knows what we do here because we play them all the time,� said Levine. �He just likes the offense that we run here at West so he asked me if I would run the offense.�

Players on each team represent a handful of the best high school football players in the state of Wisconsin. One week before the game, teams will assemble for a week of practice to learn the playbook that the coaches have prepared for them.

�You�re working with the best football players in the state and they�re selected based on football ability and character and smarts, and we�re hoping that we can teach them our offense in one week and get rolling,� said Levine.

Levine will have plenty of company for the event.

�(Senior) Kyle Stephan was selected to play in the game and John Burke is going to help with the (offensive) line, and coach (Joe) Wagner is going to help with the running backs,� he said. �They�re not like official coaches, but they are going to be there teaching on offense.�

Burke looks forward to the opportunity.

�My role is to take what we do here at Oshkosh West in our offense, and try to get these all-star football players to understand how that will relate to their position, that position being the offensive linemen who were selected to play in the game,� said Burke.

The game format for this year is not the same as it has been in previous years.

�They used to have one game, and now they split it in two,� explained Levine.

The committee has created two separate games in which divisions four through seven are grouped together to make two teams. These two teams then play each other at three o�clock on July 16 at Titan Stadium. The second group is a collection of players compiled from divisions one through three. These two teams face off at seven o�clock on the same day at Titan.

Throughout all of the precision planning, the coaches and players have not forgotten the most important part of this event.

�The biggest reason for the whole thing is that they raise money for the Children�s Hospital of Wisconsin,� said Levine.

All of the funds raised from ticket sales and concessions will directly benefit the hospital. WFCA has also created a system where the fans can donate directly to the cause.

�Each person involved with the game sets up their own giving tree website and people can go to that and pledge money to the coaches and players to raise money for the hospital,� explained Levine.

Burke appreciates both the recognition and the opportunity.

�I think it�s a very big honor and a privilege not only to work with these very talented young men, but also to interact with these very skilled coaches and to work towards the goal of raising money for the Children�s Hospital of Wisconsin,� he said. �It is a very worthy activity and it�s a very big honor for me as an individual.�

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