King Football is inching closer to its return in the Ohio Valley.
The unofficial kickoff to the 2013 season occurs on Sunday, July 28 when the 68th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic is staged at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The 64 players and coaching staffs from Ohio and West Virginia report to camp at Bethany College on July 21 to begin their week-long preparations.
Ohio coach Mark Holenka (Shadyside) and West Virginia coach Mike Young (Wheeling Central) both have finalized their rosters for the game.
"Picking this team can be a tough process because you want to do what's right and honor as many kids as possible," Holenka said. "It's kind of like fitting a puzzle together because you have some criteria to meet and you can only take so many kids by position."
In Ohio, 20 of the member schools have at least one player in the game. Seeing that he led the Tigers to a 10-0 season and another trip to the Division VI playoffs, Holenka took the maximum four of his own players on the team, including Chase Kinemond, Cody Hudson, Brooks Ramsey and Ian Baker.
"To get to coach those guys again will be fun," Holenka said. "It's important to have those four kids because, with only one week of camp, it'll be tough to get everything in. The guys a coach can take from his own school can really help the others pick things up and those guys can make the calls on the field."
Martins Ferry also had four players selected. The Purple Riders taking part are Zach Coole, Sean McGee, Trent Neavin and Cody Schau.
Three members of the St. Clairsville state runner-up squad were an invitation. They are Matt Kinnick, Corey Ernest and Luke Smith.
Steubenville also had three players chosen. Big Red's representatives are Matt Petrella, Dashon Redman and Manard Reed.
River, Monroe Central and Harrison Central all had two players chosen.
"When you look up and down the roster, it's definitely exciting to see all of these good players on one team," Holenka said. "It's going to be nice to have them all on 'our' team for a week."
The West Virginia coaching staff was able to get even representation as well, which has become a goal of Young's each time he's done this game.
"I try to pick at least one kid from each school and we were able to do that for the most part," Young said. "I think we only have two schools not represented and one of those had a player turn it down."
Young, who guided the Maroon Knights back to the West Virginia Class A playoffs, chose three of his own players. Those being Nick Naumann, Michael Pleva and Chance Siebieda.
On top of his own players, Young selected multiple players from all of the Mountain State's AAA schools.
"We're looking forward to this game," Young said. "We just finished our pre-season training camps, so we'll be ready for (OVAC) camp in three weeks. A lot of our kids on this team also played in the West Virginia North-South Game, so we're just going to try to make this as enjoyable experience as we can for these kids and hopefully win the game, too."
Parkersburg South and University actually lead the way in West Virginia with the maximum four players chosen. The southern Patriots making the trip are Tyler Bolen, Logan Cox, Jake Feiler and Braxton Johnson.
The Hawks, who are still relatively new to the OVAC All-Star Game, feature Deion Cunningham, Tim Kocher, Trevor Layton and Jon Lewis.
Wheeling Park's got a trio of players - Markeith O'Neal, Andrew Wheeler and Tanner Yoho - slated to take part.
The complete rosters can be found on Page 12.