Many graduating seniors in Monday's Sandusky Bay Conference-Suburban Lakes League all-star game stepped onto the football field as players for the last time, while others competed in their final prep football contest before college.
SBC assistant coaches Mark Matula and Jim Bollenbacher reached their own milestones, as well: After years of coaching their sons, Kyle and Brian, in youth sports, they would be on the sidelines for their kids one final time.
When Kyle was in third grade, he was a manager for Mark's fourth-grade team. In high school, Kyle settled in as a linebacker and a fullback, the same positions his dad played at Bucyrus High School.
"I feel like I got to know him better. I feel like there was more bonding time because he was a coach," Kyle said. "I got to see him pretty much every day, instead of going off to school, coming home and going straight to my room."
Kyle made his mark on the SBC, garnering a unanimous first-team all-conference defense selection his junior and senior years. His 2010 tally of 135 tackles (12 for loss) earned him a unanimous All-Northwest District selection, as well. He landed on the all-state second team Division IV.
"I think I was maybe a little more vocal than he was as a player, but we were very similar. I was relatively fast, but nowhere near as fast as Kyle is," Mark said. "I've got a good nose for the football, and Kyle's got a great nose for the football. We were kind of the same player. I wish I would have been 6-1 and 225 pounds when I was playing."
Read more of this story in Sunday's Register.
In his day, Jim played quarterback at Huron under Tony Munafo, including back-to-back undefeated seasons his junior and senior years. Later he would coach alongside Munafo at Sandusky, with a stint at Midview, and then turned back as an assistant for his Tigers.
He started coaching Brian, his youngest, in elementary school CYO basketball. It was partially to make up for the time he lost during the fall to football, he said.
Brian evolved into one of Huron's better all-around athletes, as starting quarterback for the Tigers with important roles on the basketball and baseball teams.
"There was a bond built that I didn't even realize through sports and everything," Brian said. "He coached me in (little league) and stuff, and he was always the head coach for that. We just got used to it. In the end I think it ended up helping me a lot."
Jim thought that his days coaching his son were over with the high school football season until the SBC-SLL all-star game approached.
"He asked me if I would care if he coached, and I said I'd definitely want him to," Brian said. "We just went out there and had fun, and it was fun that he could do it too, with us."
The SBC routed the SLL, 48-6, in the 11th and final all-star matchup between the two leagues.
Bollenbacher started at quarterback for the SBC, throwing touchdowns of 64 and 52 yards. The 52-yarder in the second quarter gave the SBC a 35-0 lead. Bollenbacher bowed out at the half.
Matula capped scoring for the SBC in the third quarter, scoring on a 40-yard pass from his former Edison teammate, Brandon Tomson, for a 48-0 lead.