Kyle Haas back for McDonald’s game
For this year’s McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star Classic participants, Thursday’s outing is undoubtedly the last time all of them will suit up for one last high school football game.
For Gold head coach Kyle Haas, it’s also one last game to lead after serving as head coach of Bethlehem Catholic last season on an interim basis.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at Nazareth’s Andrew Leh, as the Gold team (Northampton County, Palisades and Phillipsburg) takes on the Red team (Lehigh, Carbon and Monroe Counties).
The Kids are represented by Jacob Passarella, Colin Schucker and Jared Stauffer.
Last year’s result saw the Gold team rally for a 65-62 victory over the Red team and this year’s contest could see similar offensive fireworks, since defenses are simplified and the game is really geared towards putting up points.
Haas, along with many of his former Becahi assistants, along with the help of Liberty head coach John Truby, have been busy installing their spread offense over the past two weeks and look forward to putting on a show in this year’s affair.
“The biggest challenge is trying to get your entire team together on the same page, especially when you’re dealing with graduations,” said Haas. “These kids come from all over and some of them have never been in a spread offense before, so it’s been a challenge.”
Haas, who will be the running backs coach at Moravian College next season, is enjoying the time to prep for one last high school game, even though he hopes to run his own high school program in the near future.
“It’s kind of neat to be back on the field with the guys from last year’s staff,” said Haas. “I’m in a position where I can be patient about applying for head coaching jobs in the area. I’ve enjoyed this week. The kids are great and looking forward to seeing them play Thursday night.”
One thing that Haas has learned during his tenure as boss of the Gold team is that former rivals, quickly become friends when you’re all on the same team.
As with most programs around the Lehigh Valley, teams can be enemies from a week-to-week basis during the grind of the fall season, but once it comes down to playing in an event like the McDonald’s game, clarity quickly comes to the forefront.
“Kids that you’ve developed a rivalry with and that you planned to beat during the season, are really great kids,” said Haas. “It’s neat that you can develop relationships with kids in seven or eight days that can last a lifetime. It’s been a great experience so far.”
For Haas and company, he hopes that Thursday can also end on a winning note to add to those memories.