Xavier's Hinkens to lead team at all-star football game

Xavier's Dave Hinkens will coach the North team in the Large School all-star football game Saturday. (file photo)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Saturday the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star football games take place at Titan Stadium and the head coach for the Large School North team is Xavier's Dave Hinkens, who is beaming about the chance to be around some of the state's best football players.

"Once in a lifetime opportunity," Hinkens said. "The coaches are some of my best friends in my life and these players have been awesome.

"We spent a lot of time in developing and picking the right kids for this team and we have succeeded."

Among those players are Luxemburg-Casco's Jon Deprey and Appleton North's Brandon Kolgen, who are soaking up the experience.

"It's really cool, because you get to meet all these guys from different schools and they're all really cool and you get to know them, so we work together.," said Deprey, who will play running back in college at Upper Iowa.

"It's definitely really awesome to play with these guys," said Kolgen, a defensive lineman, who will play at Minnesota-Duluth. "Really good players. A lot of upcoming college players. It's a good opportunity to play with these guys."

Saturday's All-Star football games to many might look like exhibitions but not to Hinkens. He and his staff, which includes Menasha's Jeramie Korth, are coaching like the season is on the line.

"To us it's a playoff game," Hinkens said. "We approach this like that. There's those three kids from Kimberly and the rest of us lost our last game we coached and played in, so we're pretty anxious.

"We prepared for this like it is a football playoff game. We put everything we could into this game. The result of this game matters significantly."

Because it's an all-star game there's not a lot of time to put together a game plan, but it appears Hinkens' team will be ready for Saturday night's kickoff at 6 p.m. against the South squad.

"These kids are all-stars for a reason," he said. "We've thrown a lot at them. It's not going to be vanilla by any stretch of an imagination.

"These kids pick up concepts faster than any kids I've ever been around. We're pouring high-level surgery here."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay