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Woodbury's Winter helps South beat North in all-star game

Woodbury 2013 graduate Ryan Winter helped the South beat the North 24-14 in the 40th annual Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game, held Saturday June 29, St. Cloud State University's Husky Stadium.

Winter - a 6-foot, 3-inch, 235-pound defensive end - recorded two tackles in the game for the South, which leads overall series for the first time 10-9-1.

Last fall, Winter had his second-straight season with 16 sacks, giving him 32 sacks over the past two years.

The All-Star Football Game showcases the most outstanding senior players from the 2012-13 high school football season from across the state of Minnesota. Players and coaches participating represent 79 schools and 34 conferences and were selected by members of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association.

In the game, the South overcame a 7-0 first-quarter deficit. The South scored 10 points in the second quarter and seven points in the third quarter to grab a 17-7 lead and never looked back. In the fourth quarter, Ryan Donovan's 4 yard run gave the South a 24-7 lead, which was too much for the North to overcome.

Winona running back Eric Birth led the way for the South on the ground, running 11 times for 41 yards and a 1-yard touchdown. Hopkins' John DenHartog led the South's aerial attack, going 4-for-8 for 61 yards.

St. Thomas Academy's Danny McManus led the South defense with seven tackles and an interception.

Maple Grove's Jake Wieneke led the way for the North with seven catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Winter was the 29th Woodbury High School football player selected to compete in the game. The first Royals player to play in the game was Mark Ritter in 1977.. The most recent Woodbury players to play in the game were Torsten Rotto, who played in the 2011 contest prior to suiting up for Stanford, along with Cooper Wahlo, Jr. and Mike Willett who were All-Stars in 2009. Other Royals to play in the game have included Phil Ayeni, Chauncey Charlson, Tony Holmes, Kyle Jepson and Nico Holmes.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be the 40th in the current annual series and the 51st overall. For the third consecutive year, the game featured the North All-Stars versus the South All-Stars. In the 2012 game, 2011 Metro Player of the Year Trey Heid of Lakeville North led the South All-Stars to a 33-21 victory over the North All-Stars at Husky Stadium.

The Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game was first played in 1945 and has been an annual event since 1974. The game was played in a North versus South format from 1945 through 1960 and from 1974 to 1979, a Metro versus Outstate format from 1980 to 2010 and back to a North versus South format 2011 to the present. Through the years, over 3,900 players and 400 coaches have participated in this game. A total of 73 players from the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game have gone on to play or coach in the National Football League, including new Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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