The East roster for the annual eight-man all-star football game, set to be played Saturday at Eastern Oregon University, will have a distinct local feel to it.
More than half of the East team for the 30th event is made up of seniors from Union and Wallowa counties — five, in fact, from each county.
The Wallowa Cougars, which reached the state semifinals last fall, landed four players on the roster, including quarterback Gus Ramsden, running back Austin Brockamp — who is the reigning Special District 3-East player of the year — defensive lineman Joe Robb and center Michael Diggins. Ramsden, Robb and Diggins are also coming off seasons where they garnered all-league recognition as they enter Saturday’s all-star contest.
The quartet helped the Cougars to a nine-win season and the semifinal bid, and now will turn their attention to helping the East get back in the win column in the all-star series. The West has won the last two all-star games — including 38-16 last summer — and has a 15-14 edge all-time.
Enterprise’s Coy Aschenbrenner will round out the Wallowa County athletes after playing a role in helping the Outlaws go 4-4 and get within one win of the playoffs.
In Union County, Imbler and Elgin — two teams who reached the playoffs a year ago — each placed two athletes on the all-star team. Running back Ryan Patterson, who was a workhorse for the 7-3 Panthers, and one of his primary blockers, lineman Blake Frost, will represent Imbler. Both athletes were first-team all-league offensive players in SD3-W last fall..
Elgin, which is coming off its first playoff berth since 2008 and a 5-5 campaign, will be represented by Ian Smith — a first-team tight-end — and Chris Hanson — a first-team defensive lineman.
Cove Landon Moore rounds out the locals for Wallowa County.
The contest kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Community Stadium. The contest is returning to the site where it has traditionally been played after being moved to Union a year ago while a new turf playing surface was installed at Community Stadium.
Volleyball all-stars Meet at Quinn Coliseum
While the football teams clash outdoors Saturday, more than 30 volleyball standouts, including a handful from Northeast Oregon, will get their own shot at one final high school match in the sixth annual all-star volleyball matches, which begin at 9 a.m. at Quinn Coliseum.
This year, the athletes are split up into four teams. The first matchup of the day will include Powder Valley standout and all-state selection Megan Bingham playing on Team A. The Powder Valley graduate will get to play one more match under her high school coach, Marji Lind. Interestingly enough, they’ll be matching up in the opening game against Team B against a team of all-stars coached by former Powder Valley standout and current Grant Union coach Ali Abrego.
The second matchup of the day will have some present — and future — local representation on Team C. La Grande standout Claire Hardy and Imbler graduates Caysie McGinness and Karrington Troyer will share the court with a future EOU volleyball player in Mountaineer recruit Brooke Dodge, of Sandy High School.
The losers of the first matches will meet early in the afternoon in a third-place contest, followed by the winning teams squaring off for the championship, which is set to be played at approximately 3 p.m.