For The Tribune

When Joe Goodman retired as Seymour High School football coach in 2003, he probably didn’t think he would coach another football game.

That all changed for Goodman earlier this year.

A member of the Indiana Football Coaches Association executive committee contacted Goodman about being a ‘legends’ coach at the North-South All-Star game, that will be played at 7 p.m. Friday at North Central High School, Indianapolis.

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“I’m looking forward to it,” said Goodman. “I’m fortunate that they’re bringing back these ‘legendary’ coaches. I was kind of surprised when they asked me. The executive board made that decision. I was quite honored obviously.

“When I look back on my tenure, 38 years of coaching, 30 years here in Seymour we’ve had a lot of success here in Seymour. Therefore, maybe I was a logical choice.”

There are three ‘legendary’ coaches working with the North staff and three more with the South.

All six of the coaches are in the hall of fame.

Goodman said it is a special honor for him to coach in the game this year since it’s the 50th annual All-Star game.

“It is important to us,” he said. “This is the longest consecutive high school football all-star game in the nation. It has been going since 1967 with different sponsors.”

Goodman said when the all-star game started out, the Indiana High School Athletic Association would not allow high school coaches to coach in the game, so Rick Carter of Earlham College coached the south, and Jack Jarrett of Manchester College headed the north in the first game.

“Then the IHSAA allowed high school coaches to coach in the game,” he said. “We’ve had a litany of coaches throughout the years coach in the game. Fortunately, this is my fourth time.”

Goodman was an assistant coach in 1977 and 1991 and was head coach of the South team in 1998.

“We’ve had a lot of players from Seymour play in the game,” Goodman said. “Lynn Gregory was Seymour’s first All-Star in 1969. Joe’s son, Grant, played in the 1990 game. Tracy Bullard was named most valuable player of the 1984 game, and Kevin Kreinhagen was named MVP of the 1994 game. Seymour’s most recent all-star was Teddy Henkle, in 2006.”

Coach Goodman went to Indianapolis on Sunday to attend meetings before All-Star practice began Monday.

Goodman said he is primarily working with the wide receivers and special teams.

Practices are being held this week at the University of Indianapolis.

One of the players Goodman is coaching is Brandon Coleman, a wide receiver from Jeffersonville.

Other members of the South roster include Aaron Kructhan of Columbus, and Jared Schwenk and Hunter Armstrong of East Central. The south quarterbacks are Luke Johnson from Southport and Alex Neligh from New Palestine.

“One of the unusual things about the game is that years ago we got all the (NCAA) Division I players,” Goodman said. “Now, all the D1 players are already gone to college. The colleges want them in campus so they can get them academically eligible and take one or two classes in the summer and they work out with the team.

“So, the D1 (athletes) are gone, so the criteria for the game is that you have to have so many players from each of the six classes, and you can’t have more than three players from one team, and you have to have so many players from an IFCA region.

“The great thing is, we’ve never thought that this was a ‘quality’ all-star game. We’ve always thought as this being a representative game on people throughout the state. That is what we have.”

Kreinhagen, head football coach at North Central, will host a reception for the Seymour All-Stars at the game Saturday.

The players and coaches visited Camp Riley on Wednesday night and attended a banquet Thursday night.

Proceeds from the game go to Camp Riley.

Past All-Stars

A number of former Seymour players have competed in the North-South All-Star football game over the past 50 years.

1969: Lynn Gregory

1970: Mike Sentz

1971: Jay Hunsucker

1976: David Wertz

1977: Leo Hickam

1978: Greg Prange

1981: Brad Prather

1984: Tracy Bullard

1986: Clint Davis

1989: Jason Stahl

1990: Grant Goodman

1991: Michael Batts

1994: Kevin Kreinhagen

1997: Ryan Schrink

1998: Rob Mager and Jeremy Richey

1999: DJ Henkle

2000: Bryan Robertson

2001: Ryan Wiethoff

2002: Brandon Hensley

2006: Teddy Henkle

Additional info: Jeff Richey was an assistant coach in 1996. Seymour managers at the game were Scott Newkirk, and Dennis Sunderman in 1991, Jeremy Richey in 1996, and Ellen Lewis, and Jenna Miller in 1998.

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.