by Beau Wicker
Midwest Conference football will be well represented at this summer’s All-Star Classic.
Winamac coach Tim Roth will be the head coach for the North squad. Winamac’s Zach Shidler and Pioneer’s Josh Lytle have been selected to the North All-Star team.
The Classic will be played on July 19 at North Central High School in Indianapolis.
Roth has long had close ties to Indiana’s All-Star football game. He was an assistant coach for the North team in 1991 when Winamac’s Brian Schultz was named as the game’s MVP.
“He was a fullback on the team and some people were leery of him being a fullback on the team from a small school,” Roth recalled. “He had tremendous stats for us. He averaged over 8 yards per carry.
“The North had the lead and was killing the clock. We kept giving Schultz the ball on the ground and he ran for big yards. The media voted him as the MVP as the game. That was quite an honor for him.”
Roth said Schultz is now an assistant superintendent for schools in Charlotte, N.C., and has two young daughters.
Ten years after Schultz’s MVP performance, Roth’s son, Tyler, was chosen as a North All-Star. But in the months leading up to the game, Tyler died in a tragic auto accident.
The MVP award is now named in honor of Tyler as the Tyler M. Roth MVP award.
“That’s something that Dave Land came to me with and asked me if I would be offended if they’d name the MVP honor after Tyler,” Roth said. “I said ‘oh gosh no, that would be a great honor.’ Every year the North talks about him and hopefully I can do that this year. That’s the ultimate honor as far as the All-Star game goes.”
Roth was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the IFCA during the All-Star game in 2006.
Roth has coached for 32 seasons at Winamac, going 202-132 during that time. His 202 wins rank him 32nd all time in state history and 12th all time among active coaches.
Shidler has been the Warriors’ starting quarterback the last three seasons. He passed for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns and ran for 875 yards and 15 touchdowns this past season for the Warriors, who went 9-4 and won their third-ever sectional title. Shidler had four interceptions on defense.
Shidler was selected on the defensive side of the ball for the All-Star team, but Roth said he will play on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver.
“We might run a halfback pass or a double-reverse pass as one of the trick plays,” Roth said. “To make this team from a 1A or 2A standpoint is a great honor. Zach is very deserving. He’s excelled throughout his career. He’ll be able to step in and play with the big boys. Something not many people know is he has great hands. He’ll work on his pass routes from now to July.”
Shidler is the 11th All-Star football player from Winamac and first since Chris Kasten in 2005.
Lytle is a 6-4, 280-pound offensive lineman from Pioneer. He helped the Panthers churn out over 4,000 yards on the ground en route to a 10-2 season that included another perfect year in MWC play and finishing ranked No. 4 in Class A.
“He’s legit. He’ll play on the offensive line for us,” Roth said. “We’re going to run a spread offense. He’s listed at center. The last time I checked Mike [Johnson] doesn’t run a shotgun wing-T, so we’ll maybe move him to guard or tackle. But he definitely has the skills to play and obviously has the size to play.”
Lytle is the 10th player from Pioneer to play in the All-Star game.