By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
While much of the state is knee-deep in the midst of high school basketball season, one area gridiron coach still has a game for which to prepare.
Midland Trail head coach Joe Dean has been selected as the head coach for the South in the annual North-South All-Star Classic.
“I just received a phone call asking me to coach. I was very honored they had selected me,” Dean said.
This isn’t Dean’s first trip to the Classic. He was previously an assistant in 1997.
The game will feature 72 of the top graduating players from the state of West Virginia, as voted on by the coaches. Packets will be sent to coaches around the state in the coming days for voting, and the teams will be announced shortly thereafter.
Dean will be joined on the South coaching staff by Greenbrier West head coach Lewis McClung.
“Lewis McClung does a tremendous job at Greenbrier West,” Dean said. “He’s a very good man and a very good football coach. I’m tickled to have him.”
Rounding out the South coaching staff will be Beckley assistant coach Jim Martin and Midland Trail assistant Randy Halsey.
“Jim Martin was a coach for many years at Mount Hope, Trail and then Oak Hill,” Dean said. “He went to the Carolinas for a few years and now he’s back at Beckley.”
St. Marys coach Jodi Mote will serve as the head coach for the North and will be joined by Morgantown coach John Bowers, Keyser coach Sean Biser and St. Marys assistant coach Steve Barnhart.
Dean said the event is so much more than a game for the players; it’s an experience the kids will never forget.
“The committee has activities for them arranged, and there’s some wonderful sponsors,” he said. “They have things for them to do in the evenings. These guys make new friends that will last them a lifetime.”
The North-South All-Star Football Classic will be played June 15 at University of Charleston Stadium.