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Local Football Stars Set For North-South Football Classic

Ten Union County football players were selected to participate in the 2012 New Jersey North-South All-Star game including athletes from Governor Livingston, New Providence, Scotch Plains and 2011 sectional champion Cranford.

Anthony Byers, Dave Barletta, Anthony Manganiello and Michael Kilmek were all selected to compete in the 34th annual North-South All-Star Football Classic today at Kean University. All of the directors, general managers, coaches and athletes were introduced at the game's media day on Sunday at Piscataway High School. 

In addition to the game, all players participate in a four-day camp, which serves to help the athletes prepare for the game, and prepare for the responsibilities and rigorous schedule that comes along with being a collegiate athlete. 

, as he will get one last opportunity to play for legendary New Providence Football Coach Frank Bottone, .

Byers, a standout running back for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, has not decided where he will play at the next level. Regardless, he still plans on using the game to acclimate himself with the high level of play.

"It's going to be real good competition," said Byers. "It definitely will help you prepare more for the next level and the challenges."

Kilmek, a key leader and linebacker on Cranford's 2011 sectional championship squad, is the first Cougar selected for the game in six seasons.

"It is an honor for me and my school," said Kilmek. "It is just icing on the cake."

He also knows that the camp will provide him a valuable opportunity to ease his adjustment into life as a freshman player for Division III power Montclair State University.

"This is a great way to get ready for the next level," said Kilmek. "Especially the dorm environment and the level of competition. I'm going to just be like a sponge out there."

Manganiello, a 6'3", 270-pound center from Governor Livingston, will continue his career for the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks of the Patriot League. 

"It's going to be a really great honor to play in this game," said Manganiello. "I'm excited about the opportunity to represent my coaches and teammates."

The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. today at Kean University.

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