Four Knights selected to compete at WVFCA All-Star game
By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
The 14th edition of the Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star game is on tap for Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indiana University. Four Northview Knights were selected to play in the game with Evan Dutrow, Michael Heading, Jarett Combs and Braddok Whistler tapped to participate. Dutrow is out of town and will not participate, but the other three Knights have been hard at work practicing this week.
For all three Knights that will play in the game, it will be a final chance to suit up as a Knight and represent the school after standout careers.
“It is one of the best weeks of the year. It is always fun to team up with players and coaches you typically compete against,” Northview head coach Mark Raetz said. “It is always a busy, hot week, but the game on Saturday night on the turf is an awesome experience for the players and a great way to close out their high school football careers.”
There will be 34 high schools in the Wabash Valley represented and a total of 94 players getting the chance to suit up for their respective high schools for the final time.
Heading was one of the most versatile players on the Knights in the fall as he doubled up on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. He came through in the clutch as a running back after an injury to the starter. Whistler started his final two years with the Knights and played on both sides of the ball as well. Combs had an excellent final two years for the Knights both on special teams and defense.
“All three of them had outstanding high school careers. Michael was a two-year starter at strong safety and did a tremendous job at running back last season after MJ Shelton went down with an ankle injury in week four,” Raetz said. He will continue playing at Franklin College next year.
Heading ran for 585 yards and five touchdowns for the Knights and averaged 7.7 yards per carry. He also produced 41 tackles, three of them for a loss. Whistler had 72 total tackles with six of them for a loss. He also had three sacks and recovered a fumble. Combs caused two fumbles and defended four passes in the secondary and averaged 32 yards per punt.
“Braddok was a two-year starter at inside linebacker and also played tight end and guard for us at different times in his high school career. He will also play his college ball at Franklin College,” Raetz said. “Jarett was a two-year starter at defensive back as well as punter. He will be going to Ivy Tech next year with the hopes of transferring to a four-year school afterward.”
The Knights will also be represented by assistant coach Chuck Sorrell at the all-star game with the Gold Division, which includes players from: Cumberland (Ill.), Eastern Greene, Edgewood, Linton-Stockton, Newton Community (Ill.), North Central, North Putnam, Riverton Parke, Rockville, Sullivan, Terre Haute North, Tri-County (Ill.), Turkey Run and Vincennes. The Black Division squad includes players from: Casey (Ill.), Cloverdale, Greencastle, Marshall (Ill.), Mattoon (Ill.), North Vermillion, Oblong (Ill.), Olney (Ill.), Owen Valley, Palestine Hutsonville (Ill.), Paris (Ill.), Red Hill (Ill.), Robinson (Ill.), South Putnam, South Vermillion, Terre Haute South and West Vigo.
As a former coach in the all-star game, Raetz understands the honor that comes as a coach when selected.
“This season will be Coach Sorrell’s third year with us at Northview. He is our varsity linebacker coach and our special teams coordinator. Coach Sorrell brings a lot of experience to the table,” Raetz said. “He played at Franklin College and has coached at Brownsburg, Lapel, Pike, South Vermillion and Cascade. He is very active in our coaches associations as well. Chuck is a valuable asset to our team and it is a very deserving honor for him to be selected as an assistant coach in this year’s all-star game.”