Cannon to headline South team

Will the South rise again?

It's been seven years since the South won the Central Valley Lions All-Star Football Classic, one of the oldest all-star games in California.

The game pits players from Stanislaus and Merced counties against players from San Joaquin and the foothills.

The North has won six in a row, including 27-21 a year ago to take a 21-13-1 lead in the 35-year-old series.

The game will be June 20 at the University of the Pacific.

Modesto Metro Conference champ Johansen will send its top players — Modesto Bee Player of the Year Deven Cannon and fullback William Corbin, and 6-foot, 260-pound linemen Rodney Smith.

The 5-foot-7-inch, 160-pound Cannon enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons in Stanislaus District history. He ran for 2,054 yards and 33 touchdowns, including 375 yards and five TDs in a 47-13 playoff-opening win over McNair.

McNair coach Scott Swartz had no answer for Cannon's heroics that night, but he'll get another chance in June — he's coaching the North.

Los Banos' Dennis Stubbs, an old hand at all-star games, will run the South. This will be his fourth all-star game, though his first Lions affair.

His offense will feature all-District quarterback Trevor Mew of Central Valley, who set school records with 2,957 yards and 29 TDs. His targets will include Los Banos' Rubal Sangha (73 catches, 1,203 yards, 21 TDs) and Oakdale's Nicky Batteate — an all-District back and a receiving threat out of the backfield.

The North, meanwhile, will miss St. Mary's quarterback Cody Vaz. Off to Oregon State on scholarship, Vaz was the Stockton Player of the Year after leading the Rams to the State Division II Bowl Game.