The first-ever Upstate-Downstate Football Classic will be held at 1 p.m. on June 6 at the Carrier Dome. A team of stars from upstate New York will face a teams of stars from downstate. That much we knew. What we didn’t know until now was who was selected for the game.
All in all, there were 12 players with local ties. Ten are from Section 1 and two are from the CHSFL. Three of the 10 from Section 1 hail from Dutchess County. A fourth, Reuben Frank, was selected but will not play in the game.
Here’s a look at local guys who were picked for the Downstate team —
George Apostolopoulos, Iona Prep
Matt Deiana, RB, Somers
Lou DiRienzo, LB, New Rochelle
Lewis Edney, DB, New Rochelle
Isaiah Ferguson, WR, Mount Vernon
Josh Graham, RB, Poughkeepsie
Zach Jones, OT, Ketcham
Jack Kelleher, K, Rye
Dan Linares, OT/DT, Sacred Heart
Pete Lodini, DE, North Rockland
Dave Thomas, RB, Roosevelt
Mike Rudinsky, OL, John Jay-East Fishkill
I talked to Roosevelt (L.I.) coach Joe Vito, who will coach the Downstate team. He said coaches submit films of their players. The list is whittled down from there. “The coaches of the team that year evaluate the film and they pick the players based off that,” Vito said.
Some players will not be able to make it because of scheduling conflicts, which open spots for other players at their position. That has already happened and could happen again, so we could see another local player or two added before the game next month.
If you missed it, Kevin posted a list of local players who were nominated for the game back in January. A few others who weren’t on that list made this one above.