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County trio earns North/South all star selection

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ALL STAR: Marion’s Andreas ‘Dre’ Aguilar was one of three Grant County players selected to play in the 53rd-annual IFCA North/South All-Star game on July 12, in Indianapolis.
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BY SCOTT HUNT - shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

The high school football careers of three Grant County standouts was extended by one more game on Monday with the release of the rosters for the 53rd-annual North/South Classic game.

Marion’s Andreas Aguilar, Eastbrook’s Xaine Kirby and Mississinewa’s Heisman Skeens were named as players on the North team while Eastbrook offensive line coach Stu Goble will assist head coach Jason Garrett from Fort Wayne Dwenger on the North’s coaching staff.

The North/South game will be held on July 12, 7 p.m. at North Central High School in Indianapolis.

Grant County’s trio of all star football players all stood out as leaders and impact players on very good football teams for most of their high school careers, but in particular during the 2018 season.

Aguilar was just one of nine seniors on Marion’s stellar defensive unit that shared a North Central Conference then won sectional and regional championships earning a trip to the Class 4A final four.

Despite missing three games with a knee injury, Aguilar led the Giants with 11 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. He had 51 total tackles and three fumble recoveries, returning one for 95 yards in the last two minutes to secure the Giants’ sectional opening win over Pendleton Heights. Aguilar is listed as a defensive end for the North.

“We had a lot of guys that were good but with Dre, he was a kid that on and off the field just worked hard,” said Marion coach Craig Chambers. “The preparation time he put in the weight room and the preparation he put in the film room ... for him to do that and be as physical as he was, he just meant so much to our team.

“He saved a few games for us, he made plays that secured games,” he added. “Its hard to lose a kid like that but at the same time I’m excited to see his future.”

Aguilar recently signed to continue his football career at NCAA Division II Indianapolis.

Skeens was an explosion waiting to happen for Ole Miss the last three season, but after spending most of the first two lining up as a receiver or running back, he spent 2018 directing the Indians’ offense from the quarterback position.

Skeens threw for more than 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns and also ran for almost 1,400 yards and scored 20 more times to finish his career as one of the most versatile players to ever play at Ole Miss. He was listed as a wide receiver for the North.

“It’s just awesome to have him make the team,” said Mississinewa coach Curt Funk. “His statistics really speak for themselves. He’s definitely very deserving to make the team. I was glad the coaches that voted noticed him and listened to what we had to say as a coaches about him and put him on the team.”

Skeens is still in the process of deciding where he’ll play in the coming fall.

Kirby brought both thunder and lightning to Eastbrook’s vaunted rushing attack, accounting for over 1,800 of the 5,000-plus yards the Panthers rushed for in making a run to the Class 2A state championship game. He seldom left the field and was Eastbrook’s third-leading tackler with 77 - 11 for loss - and he equaled a team-high with three sacks.

Though listed as running back, Eastbrook coach Jeff Adamson believes Kirby’s versatility could likely lead to more field time during the game.

“He can help the team in a lot of different ways. It wouldn’t surprise me much if he ended up playing on defense and he can play on every special team,” Adamson said. “He’s very versatile and just a good fit. One of things you have to be when you’re on that team is very unselfish and I think that kind of fits the way Xaine plays. He can help the team in a lot of different ways and he’ll be eager to do whatever they ask him to do.”

Kirby is still undecided on a college.

One of the big question marks entering the 2018 season for Eastbrook was how to replace five starters on its offensive line. Goble helped develop a unit that became a strength for the Panthers in short order at the beginning of the season.

“It’s a really big honor for Stu too. He’s done an outstanding job with the offensive line and its a pretty neat deal for him as well,” Adamson said of Goble. “He’s made the offensive line position unit a kind of a special unit within the team.

“Those guys do a lot of stuff together and its a group that doesn’t get a lot of attention ... at least until something goes wrong,” he added. “It’s a group within our team that really takes a lot of pride and Stu’s really done a great job with them.”