Don't tell the participants in the annual Regional All-Star football game taking place today it's an exhibition contest.
Don't attempt to remind them the game at Perrysburg's home field is a fund-raising opportunity sponsored by the Perrysburg athletic boosters to help support Yellow Jackets athletics.
The approximately 70 players involved in this year's contest haven't spent their evenings this week preparing for this game under record-setting temperatures thinking the 7 p.m. contest holds no significance to their future.
Quite the contrary, all involved seem to share the same mindset. They want to end their prep playing careers on a winning note.
"I think you're going to see a really tight football game," said retired Rossford coach Tom Ferguson, who is serving as the head coach for the Black squad. "Both teams are going to throw the football around a lot with their wide-open offenses."
This represents the 22nd year for the mid-summer night football game, which offers recent area high school graduates a chance to slip on their respective high school helmets and pads one final time.
It's a game in which former high school rivals can play alongside one another for four quarters.
It's also a game no matter if you're representing the Gold team or the Black team -- Perrysburg's school colors -- you want to come out at the end of the night on the winning side.
"I'm pretty excited, and I think it'll be a pretty good game," said Gold team wide receiver Dakota Windnagle, a Maumee graduate who caught 35 passes for 528 yards during the 2011 season. "I think our offense is going to put up a lot of points on the scoreboard."
Whitmer graduate Jody Webb, who scored 24 touchdowns and rushed for 992 yards during the 2011 regular season, is also among the offensive threats for the Black squad.
The Gold team, coached for the second straight year by former Toledo Christian coach John Miller, is looking to make it two wins in a row against the Black team.
It's a chance for Miller, who played for Ferguson at Rossford, to coach against a mentor and friendly foe, who he played a round of golf with recently.
Miller, who will serve as an assistant coach at Perrysburg this season, anticipates a challenging matchup from the Black team.
"Both teams are going to come out and play hard," Miller said. "I think it's going to be more of a defensive game the way it's set up.
"I'm looking for a low-scoring game."
Maumee graduate and all-purpose quarterback Jake Schneider poses a threat as a member of the Gold squad. He rushed for 1,284 yards and passed for more than 2,000 yards in his senior season.
St. John's graduate Shane Rubel, a linebacker on the Gold team, likes what he's seen this week out of his teammates, particularly those on the defensive side.
The Gold wants to play physical football.
"I'm just looking forward to having a good time around here, flying around and hitting some people one last time before I go off to college," said Rubel, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder who will play at Ohio Dominican in the fall. "Our defense flies around and we're quick."
Nonetheless, the Black squad doesn't have any plans of backing down to the Gold squad.
"We're going to come out playing really hard and strong," said Black team wideout Jared Williams, a Springfield graduate, who produced approximately 700 total receiving and rushing yards last fall.
"They've got a little more size than we do, but we've got the heart and speed."
Contact Donald Emmons at: email@example.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.