The South Dakota High School All-Star Football Game, presented by Sanford, will take place this Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Vermillion High School’s Veteran’s Sports Complex. This will be the 33rd annual game in the state.
It is also Vermillion’s fourth consecutive year hosting the All-Star Game, but it is the first time it will be played on the Rollie French Field at the high school due to the Dakota Dome renovations.
Attendance from previous years has been from 700-900 fans, and those numbers are expected again this year.
“Along with the new field, the concessions stand, stadium upgrades, and scoreboard, we are bringing in the ‘Flags Across America’ presentation from Maximizing Promotions which will really dress up the field look,” said Nate Welch, VCDC President and CEO. “We are also bringing in the digital video board from the University of South Dakota Athletic Department that will create the same Division I Game Day production experience for the players and fans. There will also be live streaming of the game, with four camera angles.”
The Parks and Rec Department will prepare the field and have a private pool party for the All-Stars at the Prentis Plunge. THiNK 605 will also be providing great gear for the players.
“Every year, we are blown away with the support from the community, from the sponsorship support to the experiential support provided by multiple entities,” said Welch.
Ninety players and 10 coaches arrived in town Wednesday to prepare for the game and have some fun.
This Friday, there will be an All-Star Kids Camp, presented by Hy-Vee, at 1:30 p.m. at the new USD practice field. There will also be the All-Star Banquet at 7 p.m. in the Muenster University Center Ballroom.
To become an All-Star, the players were nominated by coaches of their classification (11AAA, 11AA, 11A, 11B, 9AA, 9A, or 9B).
“The selection process is a fun and coordinated effort for being selected as an All-Star,” said Welch.
The head coaches of the “Red” and “Blue” All-Star teams chose nominated players to make up their squad. The players were notified and able to accept or decline the invitation to play in the annual game.
“After the teams are finalized, we then report and produce the list of the teams to present to the public,” said Welch.
Some local players that will play in their last high school game are Yankton’s senior Michael Drotzmann, senior Rex Ryken, and Irene-Wakonda’s senior Trey King.
Tickets for the All-Star Game can be purchased in advance at LiveVermillion.com and is recommended as seating will be very limited. They are 20 dollars each for adults and 15 dollars for students.
Additional information about the All-Star Kids Camp and the All-Star Banquet can also be found on the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce website.
“This year’s Annual Banquet for the All-Star Game will be great, like other years, with another awesome keynote speaker,” said Welch. “South Dakota native, state and national champion for wrestling in high school, college, and now a professional MMA fighter, Logan Storely will be the keynote at the annual banquet.”
The All-Star Game will continue to take place in Vermillion in years to come despite originating in Aberdeen. The event was moved to Vermillion indefinitely in 2015 after the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company proposed an offer to the South Dakota Football Coaches Association.
“One of the best deciding factors for this proposal was the offer from the VCDC to wipe out all registration fees for every player in the game,” said Welch. “Through support from our earliest partners, Sanford Health, the city of Vermillion and the VCDC, we were able to increase the experience for the players, coaches, and fans, as well as remove the entire registration fee that was charged to players in the past.”
Updates about the week’s All-Star Events can be found on Facebook under ‘South Dakota All-Star Football Game, presented by Sanford’ or on Twitter at ‘SD All Star Football.’