Dean, who has served as Midland Trail's coach since 1997, was a North-South assistant under Oak Hill coach Jim Martin in '97. Sixteen years later, he still has a firm grasp on what the week are all about.
"A lot of these kids are going to college - some will play ball, some won't - some are going on to play ball in other sports," Dean said. "We want them to have a good time. We want them to understand it is a game, have fun, we want them to be competitive and of course they want to be successful, they want to win the game.
"They just need to enjoy the experience. For some, this is the last time they'll ever put on a football uniform."
Motes ended his senior season at St. Marys in 1992 in the North-South game, and his two trips to the game have provided him with unique perspective as well.
"The thing I remember the most as a player and even two years ago - and it'll be the same Saturday - you look good in practice, you feel good with all the talent that's there, and then seven o'clock comes and there's that much talent across from you," Motes said. "The speed is just as good, the strength is just as good, and that's what an all-star game is all about."
With in-class bragging rights on the line, one might expect a small rivalry to bud this week. But if that exists, it's certainly not showing up yet.
"Coach Motes is first class all the way," Dean said. "Obviously we want to be successful and win the game, but it's not a blood feud or anything."
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.