Carlton County sending five to All-Star game


Four Carlton County football players will play in the Minnesota Football Showcase Saturday, including offensive lineman Dylan Lauer and quarterback Tim Pokornowski of Cloquet, Esko wide receiver Branden Matteen and Cromwell-Wright cornerback Nic Johnson.

Cromwell-Wright coach Jeff Gronner was also selected as one of the assistant coaches for the North team.

The annual All-Star game showcases outstanding senior players from the 2017 Minnesota High School season. The game will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium, with kickoff at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Twelve coaches and 98 players representing a record 91 schools and 37 sub-districts will participate in this year's game. They were selected by members of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association.

For the eighth consecutive game, the game will feature the North All-Stars versus the South All-Stars. The game was played in a North vs. South format from 1945 through 1960 and from 1974 to 1979; a Metro vs. Outstate format from 1980 to 2010; and back to a North vs. South format from 2011 to present.

In the December 2016 game, the South All-Stars defeated the North All-Stars 15-7. The South All-Stars lead the current North-South series 5-2. The South also leads the overall North-South series 13-10-1 through 24 games.

The 2017 All-Star Game will be the 56th overall in Minnesota high school football history, dating back to 1945.

The Minnesota Football Showcase will also include:

• Marching band performance

• Performances by Minnesota high school cheer teams

• Performances by Minnesota high school dance teams

• Introduction of alumni from past All-Star football games

Through the years, more than 4,400 players and 487 coaches have participated in this game. A total of 92 players from the All-StarFootball Game have gone on to play or coach in the National Football League, including current Minnesota Vikings players Adam Thielen (2008 All-Star) and C.J. Ham (2011 All-Star).