By JIM HOPKINS
INDIANAPOLIS — For the third straight year, Bellmont was represented on the North All-Stars at the annual Grange Insurance North-South Football All-Star game Friday night at North Central High School, but this was the first time in those three seasons that the North suffered a loss, losing 13-7 last night in front of 5,216 fans.
“They won the turnover battle. That was the difference,” stated former BHS standout Daniel Meyer, on the loss.
Two years ago, Bellmonters Billy Bakier and Caleb Meyer, Daniel’s older brother, played for the successful North squad, and a year ago, Bellmont linebacker Connor Emenhiser slugged away for the North.
“The North won two years ago and last year when Connor played, so I was hoping we’d win tonight. Still, I loved the experience. I gained memories for a lifetime,” said Meyer, who played middle linebacker, where he will be when practice opens in three weeks for Division II Indianapolis.
Meyer had two solos and two assists as he alternated sets of four or five plays the entire game. All of the All-Stars played.
“You always think that you could do better, but I felt I did pretty well,” said Meyer, who played on several special teams. “I almost had a blocked kick a couple of times, but close doesn’t count,” said Meyer.
The South's Brian Sutton had two interceptions, including one in the end zone to keep the North off the scoreboard in the first half. The South took a 10-0 lead as J.D. Robinson caught a 9-yard pass from Game MVP Trey Reese to open the scoring late in the first period. Steffen Lewis of Brownstown Central kicked the first of his two fieldgoals for the 10-0 lead at half.
A 16-yard scoring pass by Anthony Yoder to D’Jari Griffin cut the lead to 10-7 in hte second half. Steffen, who will be a teammage of Meyer’s at the University of Indianapolis, added his second fieldgoal, this one from 36 yards, late in period three.
Meyer got to know his fellow All-Stars well, spending a week practicing and then time in the dorm. “There weren’t a lot of places to go, plus is was so hot out, so we just played a lot of card games.
‘We thought he performed well. He made a couple of tackles on special teams and just played well over all. We’re proud of him,” stated dad Greg Meyer.
Greg, who coached at Bellmont several years before recently taking a post at South Adams, is optimistic that Daniel will have a good experience at Indianapolis.
“It’s a different level. He’s got to listen and learn, and keep his head in the game. He has a chance to play right away, not a great chance, but he can always make special teams. He just has to go in there and prove himself all over again.
A “pretty intense” training regimen has helped Daniel gain strength this summer as he prepares for his collegiate career.
“This is going to be my life for the next four years. I’m ready,” said Meyer.
Southern Wells defensive tackle Andrew Runkle also played for the North squad. He will attend Vincennes, which does not have football.
Griffin, of Hammond Morton, was named the North Player of the game. He caught four passes for 47 yards. He will attend St. Francis.