The East and West teams hit the field Wednesday to get prepared for their clash on Friday, July 24 at 7 p.m. at Bearcat Stadium.
The West team hit the practice field at noon, running through stretches, drills and formations that will be used in Friday’s game.
For a lot of the players, it will be their last time on a football field giving the game a little more significance to the participants.
Scottsbluff’s Terrance Mokeac is excited to be playing alongside former rivals on the gridiron.
“It feels good to put our differences aside and just come together to play one more time. There’s really nothing like it, honestly,” he said.
Mokeac is also looking forward to playing on his home field with some of his former high school teammates.
“I know that I’m not going to be able to lace it up with these boys anymore, so it’s really special to do it one more time. Especially since it is at Bearcat Stadium.” Mokeac said.
Mokeac said it won’t be all fun and games, though.
“When they say the game is just for fun, it’s not really like that for me,” he said. “I go out there to play. and I go out there to play hard. I’m here to win. I’m not here just to have fun.”
Mitchell’s Nicholas Coley said he’s been looking forward to the game all summer. Coley said he is most going to appreciate being on the field and hitting his opponents.
Coley, though, is hoping this won’t be his last football game. He is going to WNCC to pursue his EMT license, but is planning on competing in sports at a four-year school afterward.
“I’m probably going to Minnesota (after WNCCC), and wrestle up there,” Coley said.
Coley said he is hoping to wrestle and walk-on the football team either at Black Hills State or in Iowa.
Mokeac is taking his talent on the gridiron to Chadron State College.
For Gering’s Garrett Conn it is a chance to play football one last time before hanging up the cleats for good.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Conn said. “I’ve been waiting for this all summer.”
Conn said he is especially excited because he didn’t think the game was even going to be played.
“I was getting to be pretty bummed because they weren’t planning on playing this at first,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun playing one last time.”
Conn said he was working out of town when he found out that the game would be played after all.
“My mom called and said I got selected to play, and I jumped up because I was so happy,” he said.
Conn said he is looking forward to representing Gering football one last time.
“I feel like it’s my job to show what Gering really is about,” he said. “We hadn’t had a lot of success, but we all have the heart to play in this game. I just feel like I need to show what Gering’s about.”
Conn said the game will be a bittersweet ending to his football career.
“It’s almost as big as my last high school football game, but I’m just going to go out and have fun. I’m going to be as competitive as I can and show these guys whose better — east or west.”
Conn said he isn’t sure what position he will play come game time, but he is hoping to see time at middle linebacker.
“I’m going to play what they need me to play,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun time no matter what.”
It will be exciting playing with some new teammates, Conn said.
“I’ve been playing the same people over and over the last four years, so it’s going to be fun playing with a bunch of new people,” he said. “I’m just excited to play with new people and play against some new competition.”
Conn said he is especially looking forward to playing with former rivals from Scottsbluff.
“They’ve shown they are among the best in the state,” he said. “It’s just going to be really fun competing with them.”
One former Bearcat he will be familiar with is Joe McLoud, who is Conn’s cousin.
The West Nebraska All-Star football game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Scottsbluff’s Bearcat Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m.
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