Senior Owen Perkins
By CHUCK LANDIS – email@example.com
Grant County will be well represented at this summer’s Indiana North-South All-Star Football Classic.
Mississinewa coach Curt Funk will serve as the North’s defensive coordinator, and the Indians Shiloh Mast will play on the offensive line and handle long snapping duties. Also selected were Oak Hill lineman Owen Perkins and Eastbrook defensive lineman John Ragan.
The 51st all-star game is 7 p.m. July 14 at North Central High School, Indianapolis.
“It will be great to have all three down there and be around them,” Funk said. “As a coach, I’ve had to scheme against (Perkins and Ragan) all week, and now I get to work with them together. I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be exciting and a great honor.”
A player must be selected to a IFCA all-region team to become eligible for the all-star teams. Perkins, Ragan and Mast each were voted to the all-Region 5 team in January that includes Grant County schools and all-star teams were selected this past weekend.
Each had garnered coaches all-state honors, and Ragan was an overall top 50 selection after helping Eastbrook advance to the Class 2A state championship game. Perkins made the 2A senior all-state team after receiving all-state underclassmen honors in 2016, and Mast was recognized in 3A.
Perkins and Mast have committed to Indiana Wesleyan University’s football program that begins play in 2018 while Ragan is headed to Taylor University where his father T.J. Ragan is the Trojans’ defensive coordinator.
“We felt Owen would have this opportunity after the season he had and all the post-season honors he received,” Oak Hill coach Bud Ozmun said of Perkins. “This is the apex of all his honors making the North All-Star team.”
Perkins will be the second Oak Hill player in three years to play for the North. Andrew Wood participated in the 2015 game before moving on to Marian University and was part of the NAIA national championship team. Overall, seven Golden Eagles have played in the game since Ozmun became coach in 2002.
Although Ragan’s season was interrupted by illness, the defensive lineman was a driving force in the Panthers’ march through the postseason. The Panthers finished 13-2 and advanced to the state final for the second time in school history before losing to Indianapolis Ritter 28-6 for the title.
“John’s real deserving and I’m sure he will represent Eastbrook and Grant County really well,” Eastbrook coach Jeff Adamson said.
Ragan is the second straight Eastbrook player and Taylor recruit selected for the North All-Star team. Last year, Panthers offensive lineman Nathan James played in the game before moving on to the Trojans.
Mast represents a Mississinewa team that went 10-1 and won the Central Indiana Conference championship for the first time since 1983. The Indians were 9-0 in the regular season with a victory over Eastbrook, and Mast was a mainstay on both lines and specialty teams.
“I lobbied hard for Shiloh to be on the team, and he has invested a lot into his craft and long snapping,” Funk said. “He’s very deserving for what he’s done for us as a long snapper and also at center and defensive tackle over his career.”
Originally headed to Indiana State University, a coaching change led Mast to reconsider and he decided to remain close to home and become part of the fledgling IWU football program. Mast has been ranked Indiana’s best long snapping prospect by one recruiting service.