For Harley Jones, the all-star game was an opportunity he didn’t want to miss.
For Caleb Raymond, playing in the all-star game is one last hurrah.
Both were standout linemen for their respective teams in the Slider Bowl and both will represent their teams in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Titan Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Jones, a Lake Mills athlete, and Raymond, a Lakeside Lutheran athlete, each will participate in practice at UW-Whitewater with their Small School South teammates.
“I wanted one more game before going to college,” Jones said. “I was talking to my coach and I asked him if there was any way to get into the game without having been more than honorable mention all-state. I was a little worried I wouldn’t get in. So we filled out the application and coach said if there’s a coach that wants you, they’ll take you.”
And Jones, a defensive linemen, is attacking the week with a maniacal vigor.
“I’m always in the mood to smash some people, so defense is where I like to be,” Jones said. “Defense is just a lot of fun.”
For Raymond, the all-star game is more of a delicacy to cap off his career. He didn’t have this event circled on his calendar, but he’s happy to be there.
“I didn’t start thinking about it until coach (Paul) Bauer told me I had been nominated,” Raymond said. “That was when I started to get excited for it. I didn’t really set career personal goals; we had team goals and places we wanted to go and that was the top priority for me.”
The Warriors made it to Level 4 of the WIAA Division 4 before they were defeated by Racine St. Catherine’s, the eventual state champion.
“I feel like many of my teammates could have been here,” Raymond said. “I couldn’t be here without the teammates and coaches that I had.”
The teams are split geographically north and south for their week of preparation and then again by size with the top three divisions playing in one game and the bottom four playing in another. That means Raymond and Jones will be playing against old Capitol North foes from Lodi and Luther Prep.
“I know a lot of these kids. I even wrestled against some of them and then I have other people I know,” Jones said. “It’s a bunch of friends getting together to play. You get a little trash talking, but it’s all fun hearted and we’re just getting together to have one last game.”
Now that they’re all together for one last game, Jones -- who plans to play at UW-Stevens Point in the fall -- said he has one final mission.
“I’m just hoping to hit some of these kids who didn’t get hit hard enough during the season,” Jones said.