Baldwin quarterback set to lead Team Michigan in Border Classic

BALDWIN — Baldwin’s Brandon Childress has one more football game before officially starting his college career.

Childress is one of three quarterbacks who will play for Team Michigan against Team Ohio in the second Border Classic All-Star football game on June 13 at Wayne State University. Both teams will have 40 players.

The Michigan players and coaches for the team were selected by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association earlier this year.

Terry Hessbrook, who coached Ithaca to four straight Division 6 state titles and a 70-game winning streak before falling to Monroe Catholic Central in the 2014 championship game, is coaching the Michigan team and has been working with Childress.

“I have been very impressed with the way that Brandon handles himself,” Hessbrook said. “He seems to be very composed.”

“He called me and asked if I wanted to play,” Childress said. “I said ‘yes’ and went from there. There’s two other quarterbacks.”

Childress has been recruited by Central Michigan University as a wide receiver, but will play quarterback in the all-star game.

“I talked to coach Hessbrook half a dozen times and was wondering if Brandon would play receiver, they really wanted him, he’s an athlete,” Baldwin coach Doug Bolles said. “They heard good things (from other area coaches). They got him at quarterback.”

“He brings tremendous athleticism to the quarterback position,” Hessbrook said. “With our offense, it is really suited to his style of play. He is a quarterback that is truly a dual threat. He can hurt you in so many ways and seems to be very intelligent.”

“I took Brandon down to the first practice and (Hessbrook) shook my hand and said, ‘I could see we didn’t make a mistake,’” Bolles recalled.

Childress was a Division 7-8 football all-stater and the Class D Associated Press basketball Player of the Year. For the 2014 food season, he completed 124 pass attempts for 1,823 yards and totaled 1,060 yards on the ground. He scored 47 touchdowns, kicked 11 PATs and was responsible for 316 of the Panthers’ school-record 513 points.

“I was anxious to see how a small-town player would fit in with the ‘big boys,’” Hessbrook said. “He seems to be handling that very well.”

Childress and other players report to the team at Wayne State the Wednesday of game week.

“I know I’m biased, but one quarterback they’ve got has a good arm, another quarterback is a runner and Brandon has both,” Bolles said.

The first Border Classic All-Star football game June 2014 resulted in a 27-14 Team Michigan win at the University of Findlay.

The MHSFCA previously had the East-West all-star game that included 40 Michigan players on each side of the state. The MHFSCA then decided to have one team and play annually against Team Ohio. Andon Ware represented Baldwin with the West All-Stars in the 2013 game at Grand Valley State.

“It’s the same kind of process, you nominate them and they pick,” Bolles said. “But there’s only 20 offensive and 20 defensive kids. Every time someone gets selected for that, it’s an honor, and especially from a Class D school. There’s one kid from Mendon and then Brandon. There’s not many from Class D.”

“It’s another honor to come this year and I’ve been really blessed,” Childress said. “I’m humble with the experience and excited with a chance to play in the game.”

The practices have been in the Detroit area. Childress said the format for using quarterbacks hasn’t been revealed.

“The team looks real good and it should be a fun game,” Childress said, adding that he’ll enjoy “just getting a chance to play with and against some of the best kids in Michigan and Ohio.”