(Posted April 18, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Two Madison County athletes will play in the 73rd Annual North South Classic all-star football game set for April 28 at Washington High School’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.
Ethan Higgins, a linebacker from West Jefferson High School, and Miller Kronk, a kicker/punter from London High School, will play for South.
The game kicks off at 12 noon and features top senior players from division IV, V, VI and VII as selected by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. A second game featuring top seniors from divisions I, II and III kicks off at 4 p.m.
A $10 ticket includes admission to both games and can be purchased online at massillontigersathletics.org or at the gates on game day.
Higgins is the first West Jefferson player to be selected for the North South game since Sam Kershaw played in 2007.
“Ethan is a very deserving young man,” said Shawn Buescher, head football coach at West Jefferson. “He is very intense. He has a great sense of urgency in all he does in football. He holds his teammates accountable, as he does himself, playing at a high level whenever he’s on the field.”
Higgins played linebacker and running back for West Jefferson. This past season, he was named first-team all-league, first-team all-region and honorable mention all-state. He also plays baseball. He will attend Wittenberg University this fall, where he will play football and study business. His parents are Chad and Crystal Higgins.
“It’s a huge honor for me and I’m excited for it,” Higgins said about his selection to the all-star game. “I’m glad I get to play one more high school football game.”
Kronk is a four-year letterwinner in football at London, where he also played soccer and ran track. This past football season, he was named first-team all-league, all-district and all-state, as well as academic all-league. He holds the school record for the longest field goal at 51 yards.
“When I found out I was being considered (for the all-star game), my mind went to the people I know who played in it before. All of them led pretty stellar athletic careers following high school,” Kronk said.
The last London player selected to the North South game was Michael Johnson, a 2016 graduate who is now a walk-on at The Ohio State University as a running back.
This fall, Kronk will play for Army at the United States Military Academy (West Point). His parents are Rod and Ginger Kronk.
“In my opinion, Miller is the best kicker in the state of Ohio,” said Kyle Cutler, head football coach at London. “His skill set at his position is the best I’ve ever seen, and his character matches it… We’re proud to go see him play (in Massillon) and will be excited to watch him play in the future at West Point.”
Both Buescher and Cutler said the selection of their athletes as all-stars is a positive reflection not only on the players, but also their football programs, high schools, and towns.
Higgins and Kronk joined the other 2018 all-star honorees in a practice in Grandview on April 15. They will practice again April 25-27 before the game on April 28.
First held in 1946, the North South Classic is the nation’s oldest-running high school football all-star game. Among top athletes who have played in it are Pro Football Hall of Famers Len Dawson, Roger Staubach, Jack Lambert, Alan Page, Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield. For additional details, go to ohsfca.net.