OSHKOSH, Wis. (WKBT) - It might only be exhibition games, but for these kids, it was the last time they will ever get to wear their high school's logo on their helmet.
The top prep football players took part in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Games Saturday in Oshkosh. The event was for a good cause: the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Central's Mitchell Johnson-Martin (Minnesota-Duluth) and Holmen's Greg Rooney (Winona State) played for the North in the "Large Schools" game. Central coach Tony Servais served as an assistant.
Two Coulee Region quarterbacks started the "Small Schools" game: C-FC's Cale Lisowski and BRF's Ethan Young, who was one of three Tigers in the game. Young left the game late in the 4th quarter after taking a hard hit out of bounds, but walked off the field under his own power.
G-E-T's Erik Van Vleet, who is heading to UW-Eau Claire to focus on music, rushed for 56 yards on a team-high 15 attempts.
"This is just a perfect opportunity to go out the right way," Van Vleet said in an interview on the game broadcast. "It's a huge event and obviously football's been a big passion and this is like the perfect thing to end out on."
The game also had a personal meaning for Westby's Ryan Gutenberger.
"My uncle and godfather had open heart surgery when he was like a week old at Children's Hospital. So this, it's definitely great.
"It's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There were a lot of great players out here and even better guys."
The games aired live on WKBT and its MyNetwork station, respectively.