BELOIT - Matthew Wedig and Jeffrey Williams get to experience high school football one last time this weekend.
Wedig, a Beloit Memorial grad, and Brodhead-Juda's Williams, will both be competing in Saturday's WFCA All-Star Game, hosted as always by UW-Oshkosh.
Williams will be competing for the Small Division South team, while Wedig will play for the Large School South squad.
For Wedig, it represents a break in a routine that he's been in since shortly after he put away his graduation robe.
The Illinois State freshman has been preparing for his first season with the Redbirds down in Normal since June.
"I left to come down here the day after my graduation party," Wedig said. "I wake up every day at 4 a.m., lift until 7, have classes until 11, and then study hall. After that, we have a player-run practice until 5 p.m. Then, I usually work on homework and go to bed."
While the schedule sounds grueling, Wedig said he's enjoying the experience thus far. One of the reasons is his new-found friendship with North Boone graduate Britton Morris, who is a preferred walk-on with the Redbirds. Wedig and Morris were the two finalists for the BDN All-Area Player of the Year award.
"It's crazy because we grew up 20 minutes from each other but I had never met him," Wedig said. "Now he's basically in my room every night. The guy just works so hard, and right now he's not getting any scholarship to be here. Every time I feel bad for myself, I just look at him and it's motivating."
Although both teams have been practicing since Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Wedig will arrive Wednesday evening for a crash course.
"They've got me playing outside linebacker, which is always fun," Wedig said. "My brother Gus played in this game, Casper Clark played last year and my dad has coached in it. Everybody says the same thing, that it'll be one of the best experiences of your life so far. I can't wait to get up there."
While Wedig isn't familiar with any of his teammates, he's looking forward to doing battle one more time.
"I'm just excited to play high school football one more time," Wedig said. "One thing you realize when you get to college, is how fun high school football is. And this is no knock against Beloit Memorial, but I'm really excited to play on a really good team."
Williams, who will play for UW-Stevens Point in the fall, said he's also looking forward to Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to everything but the heat," Williams said with a laugh "It's supposed to be a heat index of over 100, and we play at 1 p.m. So we'll see how that goes. But the chance to put on the Brodhead helmet one more time, it's going to be great."
Williams, a running back by trade, will play defensive back in the game. "We've got a ton of talent in the backfield, and there's been some injuries in the secondary, so I'm playing there," Williams said. "That's fine with me, I'm just excited to get out there. It's been a great couple of days so far, just getting to know these guys."
The Large School game will kick off at 5 p.m., following the Small School contest at 1 p.m.