Walking onto the new Ralph Davidson Field at Johnston City High School, Jordan Quertermous and Isaac Ingram are side by side.
The two are taking part in this weekend's Southern Illinois vs. West Kentucky High School All Star Game, which will be played Friday night at McAndrew Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University.
The two former Harrisburg High School football players that played in this past year's IHSA Class 4A state semifinals, will strap on the helmet one more time for what Quertermous calls the true meaning of this game.
"I know for Isaac and myself, it's all about representing Harrisburg one last time and wearing the "Dogs" on the helmet. I think if you ask anyone out here, they're playing for town pride as much as anything else."
This isn't the last stop for Quertermous and Ingram as both will continue their playing careers at the next level. Ingram will play for McKendree, while Quertermous recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Knox College.
Ingram spent most of his spring becoming a state contending shot putter and all the while, made some lasting relationships with those he now calls friends.
"During football season, these same guys I'm lining up too, were on the other side and considered the enemy. But I have a really good relationship with a lot of the players now. I know a lot of them coming in here already and some of them I even competed with and hung out with during track season, so we're all friends now and to come out here."
Some 70-plus football players from across southern Illinois will take part in Friday night's game, slated to start at 7 p.m.
Admission for the event is $4 for adults, $2 for students 13-18 and those under 12 are admitted free.
Participating schools on the Southern Illinois squad include Anna-Jonesboro, Benton, Carbondale, Carmi-White County, Carterville, Centralia, Chester, Christopher-Zeigler-Royalton, Du Quoin, Elverado-Trico, Fairfield, Harrisburg, Herrin, Johnston City, Marion, Massac County, Mt. Vernon, Murphysboro, Pinckneyville, Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn, Sparta, Vienna-Goreville and West Frankfort.
Both said they are looking forward to Friday night with their being one exception for Quertermous.
"We're looking forward to it, but but being out here this week, makes you realize how out of shape you are when it comes to football!"
Michael Dann can be reached