KNOXVILLE As organizers ready to bring down on the curtain on the Tennessee-Kentucky all-star game, the final act Friday night at the University of Kentuckys Commonwealth Stadium wont be hurting for star power.
Super backs Chris Shiverdecker and Dennis Rogan highlight a Tennessee roster where 11 players have signed with Division I colleges. Five of them Rogan, receiver Anthony Anderson, running back Shane Reveiz, defensive end Cory Hall and tight end Ben Lehning are future Vols.
Shiverdecker, last seasons Class 2A Mr. Football, leads a six-player contingent wholl launch their collegiate careers at Division II power Carson-Newman next month.
Kickoff Friday is 7 p.m.
Facing an increasing number of prep stars declining invitations to summer all-star games to get an early start on college, the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, along with its Kentucky counterpart, is ending the 24-year series after Friday. Its hoped an all-Tennessee, East/West contest, held in conjunction with the BlueCross Bowl state championships in December, will take its place.
The Tennessee-Kentucky series may be ending, but its going out
with a bang, TACA executive director Bill Marbet said.
"We still feel like we have a quality level of athlete out here," said Marbet as the Tennessee all-stars concluded their first day of drills Monday at Safety City Park.
Shiverdecker rushed for better than 2,000 yards during the 2006
season 900 of those yards coming in five postseason games
as Alcoa won its third consecutive state championship and eighth
overall. In a stunning display of power and speed, the 6-foot,
200-pound Shiverdecker carried nine times for 238 yards and five
touchdowns in the Tornadoes semifinal
win at Smith County. The future Eagle carried only once in the second half, a 49-yard jaunt accounting for his fifth and final score.
At seasons end, Shiverdecker, along with former Maryville star and Tennessee freshman Tyler Maples, was named a high school All-American.
Skipping the all-star game was never a consideration, Shiverdecker said.
"Its just getting together with people youve always heard about," he said.
One of those players was Rogan, only Shiverdecker didnt have to hear about Rogan. He saw the former Fulton stars work firsthand.
In a wildly athletic display of speed and cutback running, Rogan carried Fulton to a 24-21, come-from-behind win last fall at Alcoa. The future Vols breakaway score on a late first-half screen pass, trimming the Falcon deficit to a touchdown, defied the laws of physics.
"Ill give that to him," Shiverdecker said. "He showed out."
Not half as much as when the former Falcon was passed over for Mr. Football later in the year, following a senior season in which Rogan would rush for 2,876 yards and 44 touchdowns.
"That (seeing the award go elsewhere) hurt so bad," Rogan said. "Id been looking forward to it since I was a freshman."
David Lipscomb would feel Rogans wrath in the Class 3A championship game. Punishing the Mustangs with 208 yards and a pair of scores, Fultons "Mr. Football" led the Falcons to a 24-14 championship win and the schools third title in the last four years.
Having one back like Shiverdecker or Rogan is every high school coachs dream. Having both could be lights out, Tennessee all-stars coach Don Woods said.
"Its like having the fastball and the curveball," he said, "and I hope thats what its going to be (Friday).
"The thing Ive been happiest about is theyre both great young men. Thats the thing. You can only be football players for a short time in your life. Youve got to be a man your whole life."
Woods said Rogan and Shiverdecker will work to keep each other fresh Friday.
"Our basic set will be the I(-formation), and what well do is alternate those guys every two or three plays," he said.
Calling the signals for Tennessee will be former Austin-East Roadrunner Jaren Troutman, wholl share snaps with Smith Countys Jacob Bass and Ooltewahs Jeremy Woods. If they can keep Kentucky honest, Tennessees chances of concluding the series with a win look good, Don Woods said.
"I think our coaching staff knows youve got to run the ball," he said. "At the same time, youve got to be balanced."
Tennessee-Kentucky all-star game
The last game in the Tennessee-Kentucky high school all-star football series is scheduled for Friday at the University of Kentuckys Commonwealth Stadium at 7 p.m. For the 24th and final edition, the Tennessee roster will contain 11 Division I signees.
The following is a list of notables on the Tennessee roster, with the schools theyve signed with at far right. The team is coached by Don Woods of Morristown West.
- Dennis Rogan (Fulton), 5-11, 175 running back, Tennessee
- Anthony Anderson (Austin-East), 6-2, 180 receiver, Tennessee
- Shane Reveiz (Farragut), 6-0, 225 running back, Tennessee
- Cory Hall (Brainerd), 6-5, 255 defensive end, Tennessee
- Ben Lehning (Lipscomb), 6-2, 220 tight end, Tennessee
- Corey Watson (Sevier County), 5-11, 185 cornerback, Tennessee Tech
- Chris Shiverdecker (Alcoa), 5-11, 200 running back, Carson-Newman
- T.J. Franklin (Catholic), 6-5, 270 offensive tackle, Cincinnati
- Mark Fisher (Goodpasture), 6-4, 275 offensive tackle, Middle Tennessee State
- Dasmine Cathey (Ridgeway), 6-4, 210 defensive end, Memphis