Metro DetroitJune 26, 2012
Local coaches, players dot football All-Star Game roster
By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer
The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association 32nd annual East-West All-Star Game is just around the corner, and this year, it will be led by a local coach.
Macomb Dakota coach Mike Giannone will take charge of the East squad at 4 p.m. June 30 at Alma College, with a host of local athletes on the sidelines.
Giannone, who has made the Cougars into a perennial power, going 70-16 since 2005, said he was grateful to be selected.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Wow, that is a real honor, and I would be honored to do something like that,’” he said. “To be the head coach of the East team, it is very humbling.”
Coaches from across the state nominated players to be in the game. Giannone and his All-Star staff sifted through the list and came away with a roster that he said he loves.
“First, we were looking for kids at every position, and we watched a lot of film on a lot of kids. Brad Morris, our offensive coordinator at Dakota, will be coaching with me, and he was a tremendous help in the process,” he said. “We were looking at kids that really wanted to play in the game — someone that would be honored to have this opportunity. It goes without saying that they all have great talent or they would not have been nominated.”
Of all the experiences the All-Star Game has to offer, Giannone said coaching kids from different programs will be the most unique.
“To be able to coach guys from Romeo, Utica Eisenhower, Utica Ford II, Grosse Pointe North and South, Dearborn Fordson and (Novi) Catholic Central, teams that we have played before, along with kids from great programs with great coaches that we have never faced at Dakota, like (Birmingham) Brother Rice, Warren De La Salle, just to name a few, will be the most exciting part of the experience for me as a coach,” he said.
Tickets are available at the gate for $10. For more information, visit www.mhsfca.com.
Here’s a look at the local athletes who are taking the field for Giannone, along with their position and the high school they will represent.
• Brent Zdebski, LB, Walled Lake Western.
• Mike Abiragi, DB, De La Salle.
• Marty Moesta, TE, Grosse Pointe South.
• Jeremy Byers, TE, Dakota.
• Aaron Burbridge, WR, Farmington Hills Harrison.
• Alfonso Vultaggio, DB, Eisenhower.
• Devin Church, RB, Brother Rice.
• Kevin Miller, RB, North Farmington.
• Travis Joseph, FB, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.
• Nate Cole, DB, Bloomfield Hills Lahser.
• Brad Meredith, DL, Utica Ford II.
• Troy Sassack, WR, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.