INDIANAPOLIS – Garrett High School graduate Drake Landes appreciated the chance to play in the high school all-star football game even more than most.
Landes played only one year of varsity football – his senior season – and turned it into a more than memorable one. Landes played several series, but didn't have a catch, in the Grange Insurance All-Star Classic on Friday at North Central High School.
“I was concentrating on basketball then the new coach came in my senior year and came to me and a lot of my teammates came to me and said they wanted me to play,” Landes said. “So I played. It was a blast. I'm glad I did.”
Garrett's new coach Chris DePew and assistant coach Chad Sutton (who helped coach the North All-Stars on Friday) knew Landes had tremendous athletic skills. They decided to try to pull the athlete into the program.
“He came out and he was one of the hardest workers on the field every day,” Sutton said. “You could tell he appreciated it and was glad to be out there. I think he tried to make up for what he missed.”
Landes started out as a defensive back for the North team at the start of the week, but switched to his usual receiver position after the first couple practices.
Snider graduate Addison Dellinger enjoyed everything about his all-star experience except the final twist.
Dellinger suffered a sprained ankle during practice on Thursday and couldn't play in Friday's game. He wore a protective boot and will have it examined further.
“It was in the last 10 minutes of practice,” he said. “It's a bad sprain. I don't think it's broken. It's frustrating I didn't get to play, but I had a lot of fun this week.”
Marq Rogers' next stop in his football career is a long way from home. Rogers, a Concordia Lutheran standout wide receiver, will play college football this fall at Montana. Rogers caught one pass for seven yards on Friday night.
“I'm looking forward to a new experience that I've never had before,” Rogers said. “It's pretty far away, but home will always be here. If I don't like it, I can come back, but I think this will be a good thing.”
Rogers said the all-star week of working with different quarterbacks, including Heritage graduate Conner Sheehan, was a good preview for his next step.
“I think it will help, having to adjust to a different quarterback and get the timing down,” Roger said.
North Side graduate Anthony Linnear spent his high school career playing both ways, excelling as a running back and linebacker. In fact, it earned him The News-Sentinel's Player of the Year last fall over more publicized Jaylon Smith of Bishop Luers.
The All-Star Classic gave him a chance to play only on offense, and he relished the opportunity.
“I had a lot more energy to run, not having to worry about defense,” Linnear said.
Linnear will continue his career at the University of Findlay.
Snider coach Kurt Tippmann, like Linnear, had the chance to be a little more focused on one area this week. He was the defensive coordinator, a role he held at Snider under Russ Isaacs before becoming the head coach.
Tippmann said it was good to take off some of the head coaching hats.
“It was enjoyable to get back on that side of the ball,” Tippmann said. “It was nice to get refreshed.”