One last hurrah -- Laker senior trio and DL head coach Motschenbacher will be in football mode this summer
A trio of Detroit Lakes seniors have received the opportunity to don the football pads once again.
After an undefeated 2007 football season that ended one game away from qualifying for the Class 4A state playoffs, Laker seniors Adam Thielen, Josh Herzog and Jarod Griffith each will get one more chance on the prep gridiron and play in an All-Star football game this coming summer.
DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher also will be in football form, after being chosen as head coach of the Out-State squad in the Minnesota State High School All-Star Football game, June 28, in the St. Cloud State University Husky Stadium.
For the Laker three, Thielen will be joining Motschenbacher on the Out-State team, while Herzog and Griffith will be playing the Shriners' Game July 12, inside the FargoDome.
"It's just a great experience to be a part of," Motschen-bacher said of the All-Star game June 28. "For Adam, he's had a great career and is very deserving to be in the game. Josh also has had a tremendous career and Jarod was great on defense for us the last two years as a defensive back."
Thielen joins a long list of former Lakers who have played in the All-Star game, which has been run by the Minnesota High School Football Coaches' Association since 1945, and became an annual event in 1974.
In 2006, Brent Eiden-schink was named the Defensive MVP, while in 2004, Rory Manke won Offensive MVP honors.
Motschen-bacher also was an assistant coach on former DL head coach and activity director Rick Manke's 1996 Out-State coaching staff, in a game which they won 10-8.
Thielen, along with 84 other players on the Out-State team -- which will face the Metro All-Stars -- will practice throughout the week leading up to Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff inside Husky Stadium.
Other area players on the Out-State roster include Mah-nomen's Ty Beckius, Park Rap-ids' Kyle Blanchard and North Country Conference's Garth Heikkinen of Duluth Central.
The players were chosen by a selection committee made up of members of the MHSCA, on which Motschenbacher is a member.
"We look at the players' ability and we also have to have a certain amount of players from each class (nine-man and the five classes)," Motschenbacher said. "And we have at least one player from each conference.
"It will be a blast. When I was an assistant with Rick Manke, It was one of my best weeks associated with football."
The offensive and defensive schemes will be basic, with no blitzing allowed during the game.
Even though it is a fun opportunity for the players, Motschenbacher said there is an air of highly-competitive play.
"There isn't any high pressure on the players, but the intensity rises as the game picks up," Motschenbacher said. "The main focus is to enjoy the game, but everyone is pretty competitive, as well."
The game has picked up the last several years, growing in attendance, and will be televised by FSN, with about five to six thousand spectators in the stands.
"It has gotten pretty big; the coaches association really has done a great job promoting it," the DL head coach said.
For Thielen, he will be running routes on the same field where his Laker career ended.
Thielen finished his DL career with 46 receptions for 974 yards and 11 touchdowns.
But his ability to make acrobatic catches probably has given him the most highlight reel material in DL history.
He has not decided on a college as of yet, with basketball also being a possibility.
"If he has a good game, he could possibly get some attention," Motschenbacher said.
For Herzog and Griffith, they will be playing in the Shriners' Game. In the past, the game was strictly for North Dakota players, but with the Shriners having a big bcontingent in western Minnesota, it was decided a few years ago to open the border for the game.
Herzog was a three-year player at linebacker for the Lakers, and was one of the leading tacklers this year.
He is slated to play at Concordia College in Moorhead this coming fall.
Griffith finished with three career interceptions.
Those assisting Motschen-bacher in the All-Star game will be Gregg Martig of St. Cloud Tech, Mark Woitalla of Northfield, Dave Louzek of Moose Lake/Willow River, David Krenik of Cleveland and David Style of Glencoe-Silver Lake.
Former Lakers who have played in the Minnesota High School All-Star Game:
1953: Charles Sloan (C).
1954: Rich Borstad (RB) and Roger Martin (G)
1977: Jon Dahl (TE)
1992: Jeff Nelson (OL)
1993: Eric Gilbertson (DB)
1994: Bob Hooper (Asst. coach)
1994: Jason Ziegler (DE)
1996: Josh Keyes (LB)
1996: Rick Manke (Head coach) and Flint Motschenbacher (asst. coach)
1999: Joey Fingalson (LB)
2000: Ryan Manke (DB)
2001: Derek Blackburn (WR)
2002: Reed Manke (QB)
2004: Rory Manke (DB)
2006: Brent Eidenschink (LB)
2007: Rob Nielsen (asst. coach)
2008: Adam Thielen (WR)
2008: Motschenbacher (Head coach).