The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

July 14, 2012

All-star game special for Carl Junction's Skaggs

— Carl Junction’s Nathan Skaggs realizes the next football game he plays probably will be his last.

That’s part of the reason that Skaggs, who plans to walk on and play baseball at Missouri Southern, decided to play in next Saturday night’s annual Missouri Lions All-Star Game at Warrensburg.

Nathan’s late grandfather on mom Tracie’s side — Walt Hicklin — coached football for many years.

“It’s very important.” Skaggs said of the opportunity. “I know my grandfather would have liked seeing me play. I’m sure he’s proud of me.

“Competitively, this probably will be my last game,” Skaggs said. “But I’m sure I’ll be playing a pickup game (of football) in college.”

Skaggs, who leaves today for five days of various activities leading up to Saturday’s 7 p.m. contest at Walton Stadium/Vernon Kennedy Field at Central Missouri, is a member of Gold. Its head coach is Dustin Baldwin of Miller.

Walt Hicklin ironically served as head coach at Central Missouri as well as Missouri Western.

Practice, of course, will consume a lot of Monday through Thursday.

“It will be hot,” Skaggs said. “But I’m looking forward to it.”

Skaggs said he played a lot of safety and some receiver as a senior for coach Jesse Wall’s Bulldogs. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder was a regular for four seasons considering he was on specialty teams as a freshman.

Nathan should have sibling support at Warrensburg. Sisters/basketball players Lanie and Katie will be a senior and junior at Cottey College of Nevada and Carl Junction, respectively.

Nathan’s dad, Derek, is director of admissions at Southern and Tracie is director of public relations for the Carl Junction R-1 District. Derek, from , Vestavia Hills (Ala.), played basketball at Southern Arkansas and was a graduate assistant with current Southern men’s basketball coach Robert Corn for the late Gene Bartow at Alabama-Birmingham.

Notes: Miller’s Baldwin will be in his fourth year as the Cardinals’ head coach this fall. This is his first stint in the Lions All-Star Game. “It’s a very nice gesture to be chosen by the Lions. I’m glad to do it. It’s a great opportunity. I get to work with good players and good coaches.”. ... Assistants include Neosho head coach Jared Schoonover (offensive coordinator) and Neosho assistant Zac Nelson (defensive coordinator). Kansas City Ruskin head coach Matt Sullivan will work with linebackers. Miller assistants Jason Smith and Kevin LaSalle will work with the OL and DL, respectively. “Kevin (LaSalle) actually is looking for a coaching position but he was with us last season,” Baldwin said. ... Players for the Gold also include Ethan Epperson of Neosho and the Miller trio of Jordan Moots, Stewart Parnell and Fred Sattler. ... The opposing Blue includes Stockton’s Dalton Freeze.

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