ATWATER — It didn’t take long for Devon Medeiros to impress Merced High School football coach Rob Scheidt.
While working on kickoffs at the North practice Monday, the Hilmar kicker sailed two balls through the uprights.
“Did you see that guy kick? That guy is unbelievable,” Scheidt said.
It’s a bit of a luxury for Scheidt to have Medeiros on the roster for the 29th annual North/South Rotary All-Star Football Game on Friday night at Veterans Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
Scheidt coached the Central California Lions Classic two weeks ago without a kicker. Sure enough, the game came down to a field-goal attempt. Merced receiver Travante Richard, who made all three extra-point kicks in the game, attempted a 23-yard field goal on the final play, but the kick was blocked and the game ended in a 21-21 tie.
Medeiros was selected to play in the Lions game but had already made vacation plans. He’s back from Mexico and looking forward to playing Friday.
“I’m hoping to have some fun, really,” he said. “If they let me try a long one, I’ll try it.”
Medeiros is headed to Sacramento State this fall as a preferred walk-on, where he’ll battle for the kicking job with two other players.
Medeiros made a school-record 13 field goals for the Yellowjackets last season, including one from 56 yards.
Doubling up – One advantage for the North is many of the players played for Scheidt in the Lions game, including quarterbacks Sean Downs of Turlock and Kendel Johnson of Central Valley.
The players have already had a week of practice and a game to get to know Scheidt’s offense.
“It’s an advantage,” Scheidt said. “They already know everything. Kendel and Sean are a lot of fun to coach. That’s two guys who know what we’re doing.”
It’s a crash course for players who didn’t play in the Lions game. With just three practices leading up to the game, it can be a challenge for everybody to get on the same page.
Receiver Tyler Robinson ran a similar spread offense at Hilmar, but he feels learning all the different signals is like learning a foreign language.
“The signals are a lot different,” Robinson said. “It’s not even close. Especially learning all the signs and hand gestures. I have to learn what all these new signs mean and at the same time get all the Hilmar signs out of my head.”
Bello honorary captain – Hilmar✔ linebacker Joseph Bello has been named an honorary captain for the game. The Yellowjackets star was selected to play in the game, but he’s unable to play after he was involved in an all-terrain vehicle accident in February.
Explosive backfield – One dilemma for Scheidt is how to spread around the ball to his running backs. The North backfield is loaded with Central Valley’s Ja’Quan Gardner (2,467 rushing yards/27 touchdowns), Ripon Christian’s Andrew Brown (2,781/48), Modesto Christian’s Andre Edwards (1,165/15) and Merced’s Kris Turner-Jackson (1,099/10).
That doesn’t even count Le Grand’s Ryan Martinez (2,010/31), who is playing defense.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Scheidt said. “It’s going to be a matter of how much they can retain by Friday.”
Sun-Star staff writer Shawn Jansen can be reached at (209) 385-2462 or email@example.com.