Graduated seniors Casey Faust and Beck Mayer represented DeForest one last time at last Saturday’s Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star game at Titan Stadium on the UW-Oshkosh campus.
“It was quite an experience because there are obviously great players in the game,” Mayer said. “I watched Bryce Duffy play in the game last year and it is crazy to think I’m in the same spot as him.”
Faust and Mayer played for the South squad in the Large School game.
“It is a great feeling knowing I’m one of the top players and get to play with all these great players,” Faust said. “It means a lot because I know my hard work and dedication has paid off.”
The Norski duo and the South squad came up short 19-11.
“We came up short, but it was a great experience,” Faust said. “I was a little upset we didn’t win, but it was a lot of fun.”
Faust got the start at right guard for the South offense and played every other series.
“As far as what I needed to do, it was no different than any other game,” Faust said. “I just went out and gave 100 percent. But, the competition level was very high with such good players. I faced some pretty talented guys.”
Mayer played every other series at defensive end. He walked away impressed with the talent on the offensive line of the North team.
“The North had some big boys on the line,” Mayer said. “It was like nothing I had seen before. Their size and strength was crazy.”
The game was a tight battle right from the start. After a scoreless first quarter, both teams got going in the second frame.
The South opened the scoring with a 31-yard touchdown pass from McFarland’s Derek Schwarting to Sun Prairie’s Cooper Nelson.
The lead grew to 9-0 less than a minute later thanks to Mayer. He registered a sack in the end zone for a safety.
“That was a great way to cap my high school career,” Mayer said. “Scoring points was always one of my goals throughout my high school career and I got it on my final game.”
The North answered before the first half came to an end, as River Falls quarterback Logan Graetz threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Homestead’s Howie Newbauer IV with one second remaining.
The North then took its first lead, 13-9, after Kimberly quarterback Cody Staerkel tossed a 67-yard scoring strike to Kaukauna’s Mason Van Zeeland.
The South garnered its second safety in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 13-11.
The North closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter when Hudson quarterback Keyser Helterbrand hooked up with Menasha’s Riley Zirpel for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Mayer finished the game with three tackles and a sack.
Faust helped the South’s offense rack up 63 yards rushing and 136 through the air.
Mayer and Faust had great support at the game with a large number of Norski fans on hand for the game.
“There was a bunch of people cheering for us,” Faust said. “It was great to have them here. We have a great community.”
Mayer was appreciative of the support.
“It was awesome that the Norksi Nation came out strong even though the game was delayed,” Mayer said. “I was surprised to see all the purple and gold.”
Prior to the game, Faust and Mayer spent a week at UW-Whitewater preparing for the game and getting to know their teammates.
“It was fun going to Whitewater and meeting all the guys,” Faust said. “It was really hot, but we had a lot of fun.”
Faust will continue his football career at UW-Eau Claire. He will head off to preseason camp on Aug. 14.
“I’m really excited to be a part of whole new team and meet some new people,” Faust said.
It was the final football game for Mayer, who will attend Madison College in the fall.
“I thought after our playoff loss that I was done, but then I found out I made the All-Star game and was blessed to suite up one more time,” Mayer said. “I have to thank all the coaches, my family and my teammates for making all my success possible. I’m really thankful for all of the people who came along for a great ride. Now I’m ready to see what life has for me.”