Coaching staffs have been selected for the upcoming Toyota East/West All-Star Classic. The event, slated for Dec. 8, will be staged on the turf at Overall Field on the campus of Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. CST.
Head coaches for this year’s game are Caine Ballard of Greeneville (East) and Kevin Creasy of Trousdale County (West). Both have directed their respective high school teams to state championships in the past.
Helping Coach Ballard with the East team are Brian Nix of Alcoa, Jason Fitzgerald of Hixson, Damon Floyd of Bradley Central, Tony Lambert of Oneida, Danny Bentley of Greeneville, Mike Zeller of Lenoir City and Steve Trapp of DeKalb County.
Assistant coaches for the West team include Anthony Crabtree of Beech, Wes Duncan of Columbia, Jeff Porter of White House, Rahnmann Slocum of Fairley, Kelly Spive of South Fulton, Eric Swenson of Huntingdon and Troy Williams of Dickson County.
“I think each member of the staff represents his half of the state very well,” explained Bill Marbet, Executive Director of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, the organizing body of the game. “Both large and small schools are equally represented as are schools from metropolitan and rural communities,” he added.
“Cookeville and Tennessee Tech have welcomed us with open arms, providing help with a number of activities that await the players and coaches who have been selected to play in this special event,” he added.
“Our game is the premier all-star football showcase in Tennessee and is the only game sanctioned by the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, the organization that represents all the high school coaches throughout the state. It began as the Kentucky/Tennessee All-Star game some 30 years ago and for the last five years, has evolved into an East vs. West event. We are now able to involve twice as many players and twice as many coaches as we did when it was a two-state game,” said the director.
College bound seniors from one end of the state to the other participate in this annual battle and are selected by high school coaches from all across Tennessee. Coaching staffs have already met to select players for this year’s game. The names of the 88 players slated to be involved in the event will be announced as soon as both lists are finalized.
This year’s game will be telecast live on all of the state’s PBS television stations. It will also be streamed on tssaanetwork.com and on ESPN3.com. Fans can also listen to the game on a statewide radio network via WKCS, the FM radio station for Knox County Schools. Fans can access that broadcast at www.WKCSradio.org.