by RANDY GREGORY
Last year’s playing of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) East-West All-Star Game had a less-than-satisfying result for a former standout Rockford linebacker when Brett Egnatuk was forced to call it a career due to repeated concussions, and his squad lost to boot. This year’s 32nd version, played at Alma College on Saturday, June 30, featured another stalwart former Ram linebacker in Anthony DeDamos. The 6′ 2″ 227-pound DeDamos and his West teammates thoroughly dominated the East in coasting to a 59-7 victory.
“I spoke with Anthony [DeDamos] earlier this week and he had been having a lot of fun,” said Rockford Coach Ralph Munger. “He had a good feeling about the other players on his team and you saw the results. He is going to be a very good linebacker at the college level. He really improved in every facet of the game during his time here at Rockford, and Wayne State is getting a solid player this upcoming year.”
DeDamos didn’t know his exact stats from the game, but contributed a huge special teams play for the West. On an errant punt snap, DeDamos came off the end and sacked the punter for a huge loss that set up one of many West scores.
“The practices went great all week long and I think we bonded as a team over that time frame,” said DeDamos. “We got there the previous Sunday and had one practice that day and three practices a day from Monday through Thursday. It was a great effort across the board for everyone connected to my team. It was also nice to be able to play on the same squad with two of my future teammates at Wayne State.”
DeDamos received multiple accolades for his defensive prowess during the 2011 season for the Rams. He was All Conference in the OK Red, All Area for West Michigan and was mentioned in several different sites as an All State performer. He was recognized and rewarded for his efforts by signing a football scholarship with the Wayne State Warriors of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Warriors made it all the way to the NCAA championship game before coming up just short last year.
He will be reporting to Wayne State on August 7 and practice is slated to begin on August 9 as the Warriors try to take that one last step to a title this season. At this juncture it is a guessing game as to what the upcoming season portends for the incoming freshman class.
“They have historically red-shirted most of their freshman class at Wayne State,” said DeDamos. “But I haven’t heard anything from the coaches as to what their plans are for me. I will just go in there and learn the system and work as hard as I can.”