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Olympians grad excited to hit gridiron again

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Evan Kuhn would have been fine with his most recent football game being the last of his high school career.

That was the Class 4A state championship game, where Kuhn and Columbus East edged Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 28-27 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But now, Kuhn has a chance to play in one more high school football game. The offensive lineman will suit up for the South in the annual North-South All-Star Football Game at 7 p.m. Friday at North Central High School.

“I don’t think I could top off a better high school game than what I had at the end of my senior year, but I’m looking forward to it,” Kuhn said. “It will be a lot of fun. I know this is a game I’ll never forget.”

Kuhn and the rest of the South and North players reported to University of Indianapolis on Sunday and went through two practices. They’re scheduled to practice twice today through Thursday, then a walk-through Friday before the game that night.

The All-Stars also will tour the Indiana Football Hall of Fame and visit Camp Riley Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and attend a banquet Thursday evening. Kuhn is looking forward to the trip to Camp Riley.

“You get to play with special needs kids and toss the ball with them,” Kuhn said. “I know they’re looking forward to it as much as I am, at least. It’s always fun to get out and support the kids that look up to you.”

Making the game more special for Kuhn is that he’ll get to share the experience with his offensive line coach, David Miller. Miller will be an assistant coach for the South.

“He deserves this more than anybody I know,” Kuhn said. “He’s a great coach and an even better guy. After every interview I saw after the state game, they talked about how well the offensive line played, and that falls back on coach Miller.

“Each week, he challenged us to be better than we were last week,” he said. “He said we wanted to play our best football in November, and we ended up winning. He took a bunch of guys that liked being around each other and liked playing football and turned us into championship-caliber offensive linemen.”

That offensive line featured tight end Rhett Myers, tackles Seth Frownfelter and Joey Bastain, guards Kuhn and Devorus Lewis and center Jared Whiteside.

“It won’t be the same going out there playing without Rhett, Seth, Devorus, Jared and Joey, either,” Kuhn said. “You go out there with a whole new group of guys you’ve never met before and never played with before. The chemistry won’t be there, for sure. It’s going to be different without my guys back home.”

Miller played in the North-South game in 1998, just after graduating from Goshen. He was elected team captain for the North, which wound up losing to the South.

“Winning and losing that game doesn’t really matter,” Miller said. “I remember the relationships that I formed. The whole week will be fun.”

Miller feels honored to be selected to coach in the North-South game, especially since Kuhn will be playing.

“It’s nice to be able to have someone who I’ve coached for the last three years,” Miller said. “Him being selected was a big part of me being selected to the staff. That kind of makes it a little extra special, being able to coach him one more time.”

Edinburgh’s Dakota Sneed also will play on the offensive line for the South. Another offensive lineman, Columbus North’s Tyson Clark, was selected to the team, but is unable to play because of a mission trip.

Kuhn, who will play college football at Saint Francis, moves into the Fort Wayne school Aug. 6. The Cougars start camp Aug. 10.

Ten players who are headed to Saint Francis are scheduled to play Friday night, including Hamilton Southeastern defensive lineman Jordan May, Westfield quarterback Nick Ferrer and Center Grove offensive lineman Alex Woods, who will team with Kuhn on the South squad.

“For us, he was a great leader, a great player,” East head coach Bob Gaddis said of Kuhn. “He’ll do very well in that game.”

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