Huskies seeing stars

BETHANY – Nate Olmstead and Nico Williams each have their name on the Ohio roster for Sunday’s 69th-annual Rudy Mumley All-Star Game, but there’s another way to tell that the Harrison Central tandem are sure-fire all-stars.

It’s etched in their hair.

Olmstead and Williams each got haircuts before reporting to Bethany College on Sunday and they each got star designs in the sides of their heads.

“We always got a haircut before games in the high school season,” Olmstead said. “We got a haircut leading up to every game and we got cool designs for big games like homecoming and senior night.”

The stars will denote state pride as they take on West Virginia in the border rivalry played at Wheeling Island Stadium.

“We’re playing to win,” Williams said. “We haven’t been able to play football for a few months, so we’re all looking forward to being out on the field and playing in a competitive game.”

Another Huskies players, Dalton Rutter, joins the Ohio team. Rutter’s shaggy blonde hair doesn’t sport a star shaved into the side, but he’s just as excited to earn the honor.

“This was a goal of mine to play in the OVAC game,” Rutter said. “Truthfully, I didn’t think I’d make it, but I always had my sights set on it.”

Rutter was chosen as a back-up.

“My coach (Justin Kropka) was telling me that I might have the chance to play in some all-star games, but I might not, so I was prepared either way.

“I was actually just lifting with a friend and coach called me asking if I wanted to play in the OVAC game. I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s go.’ I was super excited.”

Rutter was a Division V first-team selection on the All-District team after helping Harrison Central go 5-5 in 2013. He caught 47 passes for 764 yards and five touchdowns.

Olmstead caught 41 passes for 802 yards and eight touchdowns, while intercepting three balls on defense.

“I never though high school would come to an end,” said Olmstead, who will play football at West Liberty. “It stinks so bad. I wish I could go back and play a few years with my teammates.”

Rutter said that truly is the toughest part of graduating. He’s destined for a bright future as a pharmacy major at West Virginia University, but the bond of high school football has presented him with lifelong memories.

“I’m truly going to miss the friendships made through high school,” Rutter said. “You really become a family with your teammates. Those friendships are irreplaceable and truly indescribable. You don’t fully grasp it unless you play.”

It’s more than the name on the front of the jersey, that’s for sure. Sometimes, the measure of football’s impact even ends up in your hair.