By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Sherando coach Bill Hall will have plenty of local athletes to turn to when he coaches the West squad in Friday night's Virginia High School Coaches Association football All-Star game in Lynchburg.
Five local athletes will be playing in the game, including four for Hall's West team.
Sherando's Isaiah Williams and Daniel Eppard, Strasburg's Jonathan Kloosterman and Central's Hayden Bauserman will play for the West, while Central's Josh Gum will play for the East in the game, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at Williams Stadium.
Hall was an assistant coach in 2008, the last time he coached in the all-star game, but this year he is the head coach.
"It's a real honor to be coaching in the game, it tells me that we had a successful season, because that's how it's determined," Hall said in a phone interview. "It's a great honor to be the head coach. All the other coaches on the West staff have been great."
The players and coaches showed up on Sunday, and Hall said they've been practicing twice a day to get ready for Friday's contest.
The game might mean even more to Kloosterman, who had his senior season cut short due to a fractured fibula suffered in the fifth game of the season.
"I think for him it's his first time on a football field since his injury, and I think he feels like he has something to prove," Strasburg coach Mark Roller said of Kloosterman. "I think that he's ready to prove that he's ready to get back on the field and not afraid to get back out there.
"And attack the beast that bit him."
Kloosterman, who is a preferred walk-on at JMU, has already began some summer workouts with the Dukes, and Roller said things have been going well for Kloosterman at JMU.
"He said it's a lot different. Even with the strength and conditioning that they've already started it's a lot more up-tempo and high energy," Roller said. "He said he's enjoying it so far. I think he's making the most of it."
Hall said Kloosterman just arrived in Lynchburg on Wednesday due to being at JMU, but he has picked things up quickly. Hall said they plan to play Kloosterman at both tight end and defensive line.
Hall said it's also been a lot of fun coaching his Sherando players Eppard and Williams.
"It's been fun watching those guys make some new relationships," Hall said. "I think [the all-star game] means a lot to those guys, because it shows that hard work pays off."
The Warriors went 13-2 and advanced to the Group 4A state championship game, where they fell to Dinwiddie at Williams Stadium in Lynchburg.
Bauserman, who will play at Alderson-Broaddus next year, will be one of three quarterbacks for the West squad, and Hall said he's been happy with what he's seen from him in practice.
"It's been nice working with him," Hall said. "He's a real coachable kid. He's got a big upside."
Gum, who will play at Glenville State next season, was a first-team All-Region 3A selection on the offensive line, and helped lead the Falcons to over 2,000 yards rushing last year.
Hall said having so many local players in the all-star game says a lot about the quality of football in the area.
"I think it speaks highly of the area and the type of kids we have in the area," Hall said. "It says a lot about the programs and how the coaches are developing the players."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd