BILLINGS — Florence’s Luke Maki is soaking it in the next couple weeks.
He’ll play for the North in this weekend’s Class B all-star game and then for the West in next week’s Shrine Game, but after that he heads down to Colorado to join the Air Force Academy.
“It’s a really big deal to me. Obviously, if you want to go to the Academy, what’s at the forefront of your mind is wanting to serve your country, and it also gives you the opportunity to play football," Maki told MTN Sports. "There’s so many wonderful heroes in our country and they end up being enlisted and a lot of them don’t get that opportunity.”
Maki’s father Terry was an all-American at the Academy in the 1980s, setting the stage for his son’s arrival 35 years later. Carrying on that family legacy is something Luke has wanted since he’s little.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s important, but it’s special to me," said Maki. "My dad, he never pressured me to follow in his footsteps or anything like that, he always wanted me to keep my options open. But it definitely means a lot to me to be able to go and follow in his footsteps and do the same thing that he did.”
Before he heads South to Colorado, Maki and his Florence teammates are hoping to lift the North to a third consecutive win over the South in the all-star series. The North leads the all-time series 17-15.
“It’s a great opportunity to get to play with six of my other teammates for one last time. Even though we ended with a state championship, you still feel like you’re missing something. You still want to be out there,” Maki said.
You can watch Maki and the North take on the South at Lockwood High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday.