Three area football players will represent their schools for the last time when they take part in the Minnesota High School Football All-Star game Saturday in St. Cloud. Beau Bofferding from Marshall and Esten Weber and Zach Stelter from Dawson-Boyd will get more than a high school swan song on Saturday.
Each of the three athletes will continue their playing days at college this fall and are looking at the game as a preview of college football.
"It's a good jumping off point for when I go to camp," Weber said. "Some of the guys here are playing at an even higher level than I am, so it should be a good experience for when I go to St. Thomas."
Stelter, his high-school teammate agreed, "There's kids from all classes here, not just Class A. It's a good introduction to college ball for me."
Stelter, who was selected for the All-Star game as a tight end, will play safety next year for St. Olaf.
Beau Bofferding concurred with Stelter and Weber, and added, "The guys here are faster and more athletic than the players you are used to seeing."
The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University. Weber and Stelter are on the North All-Star team, playing running back and tight end, respectively. Bofferding will line up at running back for the South All-Stars.
All three players arrived for training camp last Sunday. In their time off the field, they have found a chance to meet some of their future teammates.
Bofferding, who will be attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth, said, "There are seven other guys here (going to UMD), six of them on the South team. I've really bonded with them.
"We talk school and talk football," Bofferding added, "They're just as excited as I am to get up to school."
Weber estimated that almost a dozen players selected for the all-star game would be heading to St. Thomas in the fall. Stelter mentioned that he had only met one other player going to St. Olaf.
For Bofferding, his selection for the game was something he had trained for prior to the start of the high school season.
"I've seen a few former Marshall players in it. It was a goal of mine this year. It makes you a better football player."
For Weber and Stelter, the game presents the last step in a tremendous season.
"It caps off a tremendous year with this game. Everything that happened is so surreal. I'm very fortunate and very blessed to be able to cap it off in this game with Esten," Stelter said.
"It's definitely an honor," said Weber. "Not many get the chance to play in this game. Speaks a lot about our team and that some people have started to take notice."