The 38th Annual Kansas 8-Man All-Star Games take place this Saturday, June 10 in Beloit and two players don’t have to travel far for this year’s games. Luke Bates and Cooper Jermark of St. John’s Catholic High School have been close to the games their whole lives growing up in Beloit.
Bates worked as a waterboy and on the chain gang for the game in the past and now has his opportunity to be a part of the game himself. He and his teammate Jermark helped lead St. John’s/Tipton to a 6-3 season in 2022, improving from a 4-5 campaign during their junior season in 2021.
This past season on offense, Bates caught 39 passes for 634 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, he had 80 tackles with 12 for loss while registering four sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception.
Bates was an All-8-Man DII first team kicker and was named to the NPL first team as a receiver, kicker and punter and second team defensive lineman. He was a first team 8-Man DII District 4 pick at all of those positions.
Bates is excited to reach this goal and to play one last game with his teammate Jermark.
As for Jermark, he was one of the top defenders in the state, being named a first team all-8-Man DII linebacker after registering a team-high 130 tackles with 25 for loss in 2022. His final numbers were 431 tackles with 43.5 for loss over his four seasons as a Blujay. He was also named a first all-league and all-district linebacker his senior season.
Jermark is happy to be an all-star and to play with some of the players he has spent the past four seasons playing against.
Catch the St. John’s/Tipton Blujay representatives playing for the DII East in the 38th Annual 8-Man All-Star Games this Saturday on KD Country 94 and 8manallstars.com. Pregame coverage begins at 9:30 with kickoff at 10:00 from Trojan Field in Beloit.