Teams ready for inaugural contest

June 01, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Come 7 tonight about 50 high school seniors from around the Imperial Valley, Palo Verde and West Shores will have one last opportunity to suit up and represent their high schools on the gridiron as they compete in the inaugural high school all-star game at Imperial High School in Imperial.

The game is in direct correlation with the Imperial Valley Football Coaches Association and its first-ever Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, which will be held at halftime.

Representing each team will be Brawley Union, Calipatria, Holtville, Imperial and West Shores high schools for the north end and Calexico, Central Union, Palo Verde, Southwest and Vincent Memorial for the south.

The coaching staffs for each squad will be the Brawley staff for the north side and Calexico's for the south. Each coaching staff will rotate yearly on an alphabetical basis.


"For me, it's been an honor to coach these seniors in this type of game. It's been a pleasure coaching all these guys," said Calexico coach Richard Gonzalez. "It's been a little bit of a task as far as getting everyone together from each school out here to work out. But other than that, I'm really enjoying this.

"This is a big game for everyone involved because it is the inaugural game and we're having all the Hall of Famers there," said Gonzalez. "It's also really big for all the seniors. For some, it could be their last game, so we want them to have a memorable experience. The goal is obviously to win the game, but we're just going to let them all have fun."

Both sides said the game will be intense, but they are not going to put anyone's career in jeopardy.

Said Calipatria's Clay Love: "We're going to go out there and give it everything we have and not hold back. We're not going to take it down a notch, but at the same time, we're not going to try and blow anyone's knee out."

There are a few ground rules for the game. The contest will embody all regular high school football rules with extra stipulations. On special teams, there is no rushing pressure by the defense allowed on extra points, field goals or punts until the last two minutes of each half and there is no inside blitzing by linebackers.

The purpose for the lack of inside blitzing is due to make-shift offensive lines. Because the majority of the players haven't played alongside each other before, or haven't played together in over five months, that puts quarterbacks at risk for serious injury.

Another agreed-upon rule was the exchange of offensive and defensive formations. Since neither team has had more than three weeks of practice and there is no film to scout, knowing what type of formations will be run allows for better preparation.

The preparation of the players is what Brawley coach Jon Self said will be a key factor.

"I think it's very important that our guys are prepared for this game. We want them to look good out there," said Self, who will serve as head coach in place of Brawley's John Bishop. "This is the first time we're doing this and a lot of people will judge us and this whole thing based on this one game.

"They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. So we're going to showcase these players and their talent and try to put on a good show for everyone."

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles