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Phil Simms North-South Classic Game Director Ken Trimmer, the head coach at Caldwell, makes sure that the all-star game gets full exposure on TV while keeping game at the forefront each and every June. (Photo by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET)

Differnt generations of coaches have been a part of recent North-South Classics including the son-father tandem of Summit's Kevin Kostibos (left) and Barry, who is the retired coach from both Livingston and Watchung Hills. (Photo by Glenn Kross)

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“The North-South Classic is a great game and we love being a part of it,” said Barry Kostibos, the retired coach at both Livingston and Watchung Hills, who was present at a recent introduction of North and South players to their all-star game coaches at Piscataway High School. “Plus, you’re always working with a great group of coaches who are a lot of fun to be around, along with a new group of kids who are on their way to the next level after this one final high school game.”

John Wagner, the former coach at Roselle Park and now the very successful head mentor at Point Pleasant Beach, has seen the game from both a North and South perspective and relishes both sides of the spectrum in the Classic which started back in 1979.

“There have been so many great players through the years in this game on both teams, including a few going way back, who made it to the NFL,” said Wagner. “To see the North-South Classic continue to grow and prosper and watch kids from all over this great state perform in one more game before heading off to their various college destinations is just a joy for me each and every year I’m around this game.”

And, beyond the actual coaching and work of the general managers, there are others, such as treasurer Joe Rotondi, the retired coach at Piscataway, and media relations man Joe Rotondi, the athletic director at Union City, who perform their own unique roles behind the scenes.

“The North-South Classic is simply a tremendous high school football all-star game with a great history and I enjoy trying to promote that fact while also letting the folks in the media know about this year’s game,” said Rotondi. “And, having former NFL players with some Jersey roots, like Scott Brunner (Lawrence High School) and Neil O’Donnell (Madison) involved in the game simply reminds you of how great the talent has been in this state for so many years.”

Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister

Union City Athletic Director Joe Rotondi, a former football coach in Hudson County, is one of the devoted men with football coaching roots who stands firmly behind the annual Phil Simms N.J. North-South Classic. (Photo by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET)

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