The honors keep coming in for three Juneau-Douglas High School football players.
Chris Connally, Jason Kaeser and Justin Rose -- who were all named to the all-state football team on Sunday -- headed to Anchorage this weekend so they can play for the South team on Saturday in the 23rd Annual North-South All-Star Football Classic hosted by the Al Aska Shrine Temple. It is the first time in years that any Juneau football player has been able to play in the senior all-star game.
"This is another chance for them to play," Juneau coach Reilly Richey said. "It'll give them a chance to play with some of the guys they've been going against in recent years. It'll be a fun game."
Connally was a first-team all-state selection at both wide receiver and defensive back, while Kaeser was first-team defensive interior lineman and Rose was second-team linebacker. Kaeser will also play offensive line and Rose will play tight end during this weekend's game.
The game will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Anchorage Football Stadium, or Chugiak High School if it snows. Service High School coach Jason Caldarera will coach the South team, while Chugiak coach Travis Cantrell will coach the North team. The players were chosen by the Alaska High School Football Coaches Association.
Dale Cain, who is coordinating the game for the Shriners, said a concerted effort was made this year to include more players from around the state. He said in past years it seemed like the game had too many Anchorage players because many of the out-of-town athletes couldn't make it in for the game.
For most of its history, the game took place in June and the players had conflicts with summer jobs. But this year it was moved to October to make it closer to the football season. Both Reilly and Cain said they couldn't remember a Juneau player participating in the game for at least three years.
"We wanted to get it closer to football season," Cain said. "The players will be in prime condition for football. In the past, some of these guys hadn't been playing football for six to eight months before the Shrine game."
The money raised from this game will go to help the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children around the country -- 19 specializing in orthopedic problems and three specializing in burns. Cain said most of the Alaska patients are taken to the Shrine Hospital in Portland, Ore. He said last year the game raised about $1,600, but this year there's been more of an effort to get donated gear so they expect to raise more money.
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