WARRENSBURG - The 28th Annual Missouri Lions All-Star Football Game will be played again in the city of its inception on July 24.
The All-Star game which features outstanding graduated high school football players from the entire state was originally played in Warrensburg in July of 1977, but was moved to Jefferson City for the 1981 season, where it was played until last year.
The annual affair was created in order to benefit the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation and has raised approximately $160,000 for this statewide Lions project. The game pits some of the top football talent from around the state to play one last game with and against their peers before entering the world of college or other careers.
The game is divided into East and West teams. Heading this year's West squad will be Coach Rob Bowers of Richmond High School, and the East will be piloted by Coach John Pukala of Hazelwood Central High School.
The Warrensburg Lions Club will host the event which saw the players and coaches arrive at Central Missouri State University on Friday. This week will be spent getting acquainted, learning plays and two-a-day practice sessions, culminating in the banquet Friday, July 23. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 24 at Vernon Kennedy Stadium.
Sikeston High School record setting wide receiver Scotty Keenan will be playing for the East squad.
Keenan set school records last fall with 44 receptions and 786 receiving yards.
Keenan will attend the University of Missouri in the fall.
Also competing for the East squad will be Charleston standouts A.H. Marshall and Travis McCann.
Marshall was a first team all-conference defensive back, who also played quarterback. He recorded 72 tackles, had five pass break ups and had five quarterback sacks. Marshall has signed to play at Evangel University.
McCann played tight end, fullback and linebacker for the Bluejays.
He had one rushing touchdown and was primarily used as a blocker on offense. On defense he was one of the team's fiercest hitters.
McCann has signed to play at Central Methodist.
Another local player that will be competing in the game is New Madrid County Central all-state running back Remond Willis.
Willis established himself was one of the top running backs in NMCC history as he gained 2,002 yards on 262 carries with 24 touchdowns.
Willis has signed on to play at the University of Illinois next season.