It's an honor to be nominated to play in the Southwest & Central Virginia All Star Classic game, and some of the area's best high school senior football players came together Friday to play after losing the game's former director, Michael Leamnson.
Leamnson, a former financial advisor in Roanoke, pled guilty to a long-term Ponzi scheme, which he used to cheat clients of nearly $1 million worth of investments.
The former director was sentenced to 40 months in jail back in January.
Despite the setback, the players hit the field at Franklin County High School for the first time under new leadership: Phil Miron stepped in to help direct the game.
"There's probably a lot of coaches that didn't think it would come off just because some of the circumstances, and it was a late start, but we managed to pull it together," Miron says.
Under Miron's lead, the game switched from Roanoke to Franklin County, which he says was a little cheaper.
The last-minute organizing did leave the teams a few players short, but many of the fans say it doesn't change the point of the game.
"It's one last opportunity for them to play in front of their family and friends and just showcase the numbers on their back and what this game and community means to them," Fellowship Christian Athletes leader Tim Hill says.
Plus, there's expected benefits for nearby restaurants to see a boost in business after the game.
"There's about 700 to 1,000 people here today," Miron says. "A lot of those people are going to stop and eat and spend money in the local economy, there's no question about that."
So, even with a few bumps in the road, it didn't stop these coaches and players from bringing the best players together for one last game.