The sweltering heat hasn't tempered Jarrell Davis' excitement on the football field.
The recent Buhach Colony star has had a blast reconnecting with old friends as he prepares to play his second all-star football game in a week.
"I played with and against some of these guys in youth football," Davis said. "It's been like a football reunion. It's fun playing with these guys."
Davis will suit up for the North in tonight's 26th annual North/South Rotary All-Star game at Chowchilla High.
The kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
"During the season you might go watch some of these guys during your bye week, but playing with them is totally different," Livingston's Brian Alvarez said. "It's cool meeting them. I'm going to play with Jarrell next year. It's nice to build the camaraderie early."
Offensively the North has plenty of weapons.
Merced's Rudy Monteon and Patterson's Cody Weinzheimer will split the quarterback duties.
The backfield is loaded with familiar names: Davis, Los Banos' Darren Brown, Livingston's Charles Brown and Le Grand's Bob Perez.Alvarez, Merced receiver Nick Zamora and Le Grand tight end Alex Martinez will give the quarterbacks options down the field.
"The kids are having fun with it," said Le Grand coach Rick Martinez, who will coach the North. "They're excited. They're all-stars. We're going to let their competitiveness take over and let them make plays. We're just going to put them in the position to do it."
It's Martinez's first time coaching an all-star game. The Bulldogs staff has had some help from their friends in Los Banos.
"Dennis (Stubbs) said they had some coaches who could help so that's helped out a lot because our staff size isn't very big," Martinez said. "It's been a good experience working with some good coaches."
The North defense could face a tough challenge in Washington Union quarterback Sean Stell, who led the Panthers to the Central Section Division IV Valley Championship.
Stell picked apart defenses out of Washington Union's spread offense, completing 195 of his 319 passes for 3,263 yards and 33
touchdowns.With Washington Union coach Jeff Freitas coaching the South, Stell will be comfortable in the spread offense.
"We exchanged a little film," Martinez said. "(Stell) is not a guy that will take off. He throws a nice ball. I've been coaching the (defensive backs) this week. We've been working on playing underneath and making it tough on them to run free down the field."
The North will rely on defensive backs like LB's Jalen Bourbon, Atwater's Ben Finister, Le Grand's Rick Martinez and Escalon's Brandon Shaw.Davis doesn't want to lose another all-star game. The Buhach Colony star played for the South in a 21-6 loss in the Lions All-Star game last week in Stockton.
"Oh yeah, I'm not trying to go out of high school with another loss," Davis said. "That first loss was heartbreaking because we had such a good team."Hopefully we can get a win this time."
North/South Rotary All-Star Game
WHEN: Tonight; kickoff at 7:45
WHERE: Chowchilla High
ROSTER: The game draws from 50 high schools in the Central Valley and will feature a total of 104 players.
For complete rosters,
visit this story online at www.mercedsunstar.com.
COACHES: North: Rick Martinez, Le Grand; South: Jeff Freitas, Washington Union