In Play with Tom Markowski

Border Classic pitting Michigan all stars against those from Ohio has ended after two years

Football   | Tom Markowski

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Clawson – The two-year run of the Border Classic is not much more than a memory now.

The high school football all-star game that pitted some of the best seniors from Michigan against those from Ohio is over after a brief run.

Clawson coach at Michigan All-Star committee chairman Jim Sparks said he is not pleased the series is over and if it was up to him and those within the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association the series would continue.

Michigan won both games, 31-14 last season in Findlay, Ohio, and 24-7 in the game played at Wayne State University on June 13.

“We’re definitely disappointed,” Sparks said. “We worked pretty hard at it. We had decent sponsors. Communications kind of broke down between us and those in Ohio. Then during the week of the game (at Wayne State) communication was good. Their board of directors informed us (on June 15) that they opted out due to finances.

“The kids really enjoyed it. That was the most important thing. We’ve reached out to the other bordering states and Illinois already said no. They have a North/South game and are committed to that.”

Sparks said he has not heard back from those representing the states of Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Sparks said it is possible the MHSFCA would return to the old all-star game format, East vs. West. Under that format each team would have 44 players and no school could have more than one representative. The Border Classic limited each team to 40 players and schools could have multiple representatives.

If the Michigan All-Star Game committee does decide to return to the old format the date also would likely change.

The last two seasons the game was played on the same day as the state finals in baseball, softball and soccer.

There is another problem facing Sparks and his team of organizers. The next all-star game committee board meeting is scheduled for after the season, perhaps in December, and Sparks said that any decision made at that time would limit the amount of time to organize the event. He is considering calling for an emergency meeting to come to a decision sooner.