BETHANY - When Valley's Spencer Mason steps onto the Wheeling Island Stadium turf for Sunday night's 68th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Football Charity Classic it will be his third all-star appearance.
Yes, his third.
Well, in 2010 an 2011, Mason was a member of the McDonald's All-Star Band. He said he would've have been a member of the band last summer if not for Valley's band camp being the same week.
This past football season, Mason had the opportunity to play football and march in the band on Friday night's. It was a tough task at times, but an experience he wouldn't trade.
''Not getting a break sometimes was rough, but I wanted to do it,'' Mason said at Monday's Media Day festivities at Bethany College.
''At halftime, I'd go take my pads off, put a shirt on, play, then go back and put my pads on and go back and play football,'' he said.
Mason started his music education in fifth grade playing the trombone then switched to the tuba his freshman year.
So, there he was last fall, carrying a tuba around after playing a half of football. Most of the time his 6-foot, 310-pound frame could handle it.
''It was pretty rough some games, though,'' he said. ''One game I wasn't able to be with the band because I was so beat up.''
Long before Edgar Martin became a legendary coach and administrator at the high school and collegiate level, the 'Man for All Seasons' was an OVAC All-Star, participating in the 1946 summer gleam game. This year, Cameron's Austin Martin, grandson of the OVAC Hall of Famer and namesake of the Beast of the East Baseball Classic, will take the field for the contest.
Shadyside's Cody Hudson is the third member of his family to play in the game, joining his brother, Logan (2011) and grandfather, Bob (1948). Bishop Donahue's Jordan Bonar joins his grandfather, Bob (1950) in all-star lore.
The fathers of St. Clairsville's Corey Earnest (Chuck-1982) and Brooke's Raleigh Mason (Raleigh-1988) previously played in the game.
Joining their brothers on the list of all-star alumni are St. Clairsville's Matt Kinnick (Zach-2011), Magnolia's Tanner Hanna (Tyler-2009), Oak Glen's Preston Murray (Tim Cashdollar-2004) and Linsly's Chinelo Oparanozie (Chidozie-2008).
Men in Stripes
Officials for Sunday night's game will include Rusty Vermillion (Belmont), referee; Robert Ramsey (Wellsville), umpire; Tom Bechtel (Wheeling), linesman; Larry McCloy (Parkersburg), line judge; Mike Ridgway (Fairmont), field judge; Joe McFarland (Follansbee), side judge; T.J. Brancazio (Weirton), back judge. Yorkville's Don Zinni, the former OVAC football commissioner, will be the honorary official.
That's the Ticket
Tickets for the game are available at many locations on the West Virginia and Ohio sides of the Ohio River. They are $7 in advance and $10 at the gate. Fans aged 5 and under are admitted free.
West Virginia ticket locations include Benwood (Kroger), Chester (Citizen Drug), Moundsville (Kroger), New Martinsville (Witschey's Supermarket), Warwood (Kroger), Weirton (Kroger, St. Thomas Drive and Main Street locations), Wellsburg (Kroger) and Wheeling (Kroger).
Ohio ticket locations are Bellaire (Kroger), Cambridge (The Jeffersonian), East Liverpool (All-Sports Supplies), Martins Ferry (Kroger), Shadyside (DeFelice Brothers Pizza), St. Clairsville (Kroger), Steubenville (Kroger and Smitty's Floors), Wellsville (Center Pharmacy), Wintersville (Kroger) and Woodsfield (Weber's Drugs).