Walled Lake Central and Walled Lake Western may be rivals, but both schools are each home to an all-star.
Central’s Zac Leimbach played on the East team in the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA) All-Star Game at Comerica Park in Detroit on June 26.
Then, Western’s Brent Zdebski took the field for the East team at Bahlke Field at Alma College for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) All-Star Game on Saturday, June 30.
Both games were fitting endings for the careers of two student-athletes who set new benchmarks at their schools.
“It was surreal for me,” Leimbach said. “It was more about the experience. It just shows that the people who supported me and the hard work pays off.”
Zdebski called his all-star experience “the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“It was cool to see the diversity with all the kids from different backgrounds,” he said.
Both players were coming off strong senior seasons in their respective sports.
A threat on both sides of the line of scrimmage, Zdebski finished the 2011 season with 141 total tackles (76 solo, 65 assists), along with 9.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries to finish a stellar career for Western.
On offense, Zdebski rushed for 1,041 yards and 13 touchdowns and earned All-KLAA Lakes Conference honors as the Warriors won the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) North Division title and advanced to the Division 2 state semi-finals, its first appearance in the final four since it fell to Lowell in overtime in 2001.
Meanwhile, Leimbach finished the 2012 baseball season with a batting average of .685 with 30 RBIs, 30 walks, 35 stolen bases, only two strikeouts and an on-base percentage of .800 in helping the Vikings win their third straight KLAA North title.
Leimbach entered the MHSBCA All-Star Game in the bottom of the fifth inning as a left fielder and ending up hitting 2-for-2 with an RBI as the West trounced the East, 16-6.
“It’s a pretty good way to end a baseball career,” Leimbach said.
At the MHSFCA All-Star Game, Zdebski started at linebacker and also saw action on the punt and kick return units. He finished with four tackles as the East was blown out by the West, 59-7.
“I’m glad the game was at Alma,” he said. “The place was packed and it was great to represent my county and school.”
Zdebski will next head off to play football at Kalamazoo College, where he will look to take his game to the next level.
As for Leimbach, who was Central’s starting quarterback in his junior and senior years, he will look to continue playing football, as well as he will try to walk-on at Michigan State University in the fall.