Players honored at U.P. All-Star Football banquet

The All-Star football teams were honored Friday night to finish off a week of practice, drills, and activities before Saturday’s game.

Recently retired Forest Park head coach Bill Santilli was the keynote speaker.

He wanted to express to the players what football means to them and what its done for them, since the values football teaches players stays with them for the rest of their lives.

“I believe that everybody that plays this game develops a camaraderie that’s second to none.  Unless you’ve played the game of football I don’t think people really understand,” Santilli said.  “What that brings to the table is that everybody goes through those moments of adversity that you face in sports.  Sports then prepares you for adversarial moments of your life where you can form a plan, come up with something to do in a hurry, and have the guts to really carry it through.”

When asked what he’s looking forward to most about Saturday’s game, Santilli said playing under the lights at the Superior Dome.

“I’ve always loved it when Forest Park comes up to the dome, the atmosphere is just wonderful to play in, the turf, the facility…the kids get so fired up when the play in that facility because it’s kind of new to them,” he said.  “A lot of high school players have never really played a game in this facility, and I think they’re all a little bit nervous, when it comes down to it after that first hit, whenever they get into the game, it’s just going to be falling into the role of a regular football game to them.”

The U.P. All Star game is slated to kick off at 3 p.m. Saturday.