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Prep All-Star games raise questions about purpose, necessity

Last week, I wrote a column in which I, in so many words, said that America had grown a tad weary of professional All-Star events, partly because athletes didn't seem to care.

I commended high school athletes for treating these events with a level of importance, even going as far as to say, "if you happen to make it to either the baseball or football all-star games this weekend, my guess is you're not going to see much apathy or loafing."

Let me be the first to say that the athletes who did play in Saturday's Southwest Senior Bowl seemed to be taking it pretty seriously. In many ways, it resembled a regular high school football game. Players were eager to pounce on loose balls, made efforts to make the big play and, naturally, protested a bit when called for penalties. After the game, the West celebrated a 21-6 win by participating in a team chant, celebrating a win like football teams normally do.

And the game certainly seemed to matter to the fans. For friends, family members and coaches to get to see these players play one last time was a special treat.

So let it be said, there did not appear to be apathy at Ulrich Stadium on Saturday. Not among those who played.

But the number of those who played (50) was less than half the number of those listed on the original rosters that ran in Saturday's paper (106). And while I'm sure each player had valid reasons to no play, it still raised questions about why so many players skipped out.

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