Pasco County debuts all-star football game Dec. 10

Sunlake head football coach Bill Browning has one more game on the sidelines this year.

It’s not a playoff game.

It doesn’t count in the standings.

He’s not even coaching his Seahawks this time.

Still, it’s an important game.

Pasco's first all-star football game will feature teams made up of seniors representing the East and West sides of the county. (Image courtesy of Bob Durham and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes)

Mark Kantor of Wiregrass Ranch will lead the East team in the East-West Classic. (File Photo)

“It’s something that a lot of the coaches have wanted here for years. I’ve been pushing for it for a long time,” Browning said. “It will be the very first one. It’s kind of a big deal.”

The big deal is the Pasco County East-West Classic, the county’s first all-star football game. The best of the best will go head-to-head in a contest on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m., at Sunlake High School, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes.

The game, organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, will have players squaring off from opposite sides of the county.

Players on the East team will represent Land O’ Lakes, Wiregrass Ranch, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, Pasco, Bishop McLaughlin and Zephyrhills Christian Academy.

Players on the West team will represent from River Ridge, Ridgewood, Mitchell, Anclote, Hudson, Fivay, Gulf and Sunlake.

Sunlake was placed on the West team for competitive balance purposes, Browning said.

Each team features top athletes who were selected by the coaching staff.

Browning is coaching the West team, with the other school’s coaches serving as his assistants. On the East side, the head coach will be Wiregrass Ranch’s Mark Kantor. Each roster of players is made up entirely of seniors.

The teams will only have a few practices together before the contest, so the game plans probably won’t be too complex.

Pasco's first all-star football game will feature teams made up of seniors representing the East and West sides of the county. (Image courtesy of Bob Durham and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes)

Pasco’s first all-star football game will feature teams made up of seniors representing the East and West sides of the county.
(Image courtesy of Bob Durham and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes)

The game is valuable to the players because if offers one more chance to impress teams at the next level, Browning said.

“It gives an opportunity for college coaches to see them in an all-star game against other very good players,” Browning said. “It’s just really a chance for the seniors to go out, have some fun and showcase their talent.”

For the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, there are additional benefits as well. The group has put in about $20,000 to make the game a reality, and wants area seniors to have another chance to show off their skills. But, they’ll also get a chance to play with teammates and coaches they wouldn’t have met previously, which allows them to foster new relationships and contacts throughout the county.

“They play on their individual teams all year. Now here’s a chance to play with the best from other schools. So there will be bonding, there will be friendships made for life, hopefully,” said Bob Durham, area director for the Fellowship of Christian athletes.

The game also allows coaches to work more closely together and to strengthen their bonds as well. Coaches are instrumental to the FCA, and having them work together is a positive experience for everyone involved, Durham said.

The plan is to make the game an annual event, with head coaching duties and game location possibly rotating from year to year.

Feedback has been positive from everyone involved, Durham said, which isn’t surprising, considering the popularity of football in Pasco County.

“Schools and people and fans love football here, and so this has just been a missing piece of the county in terms of football,” he said. “It fills a void. The community has been looking for this for years, and now it’s finally here.”

Tickets are $10, and parking is $5. Tickets are available at the gate, at the participating schools or at county Beef O’ Brady’s restaurants. For more information, contact Durham at (813) 784-4410, or email .

East All-Star Team 2015 Roster
Scott Edwards, QB                 Bishop McLaughlin

Matt Iovine, QB                     Zephyrhills Christian

Tommie Farmer, SS                Land O’ Lakes

Jackie Tucker, FS                    Zephyrhills

Jakiah Fielder, RB                   Pasco

Brandon Mosley, CB             Wiregrass Ranch

Issac Johnson, CB                  Zephyrhills Christian

Kevin Lee, LB                         Zephyrhills

Tre’un Everitt, RB                  Zephyrhills

Patrick Beatty, LB                  Bishop McLaughlin

Reggie Roberts Jr., CB            Zephyrhills

Jacob Carden, FB                    Zephyrhills Christian

T.J. Lee, LB                            Zephyrhills

Ty DeCaire, LB                      Wiregrass Ranch

Blake Castillo, LB                   Pasco

Mike Mosley, LB                   Wesley Chapel

Greg Smalls, LB                      Land O’ Lakes

Cole Blevins, DL                    Pasco

Colin Hankin, OG                   Bishop McLaughlin

Tristan Pauwels, OG              Wesley Chapel

Alex Ligocki, C                       Land O’ Lakes

Darryus Lowe, DL                 Land O’ Lakes

J’Won Pickett, DL                  Zephyrhills Christian

Naim Smith, OG                     Wesley Chapel

Kendall Graff, OT                  Land O’ Lakes

Jamal Mention, OT                Pasco

Tyler Ichimura, OG                Wiregrass Ranch

Jonah Thomas, OT                 Zephyrhills

Taylor Bleistein, WR              Wiregrass Ranch

Brian Mena, WR                     Wesley Chapel

Rashawn Kindell, WR            Land O’ Lakes

Kyle Kampsen, SS                  Bishop McLaughlin

Chase Oknefski, K                  Wesley Chapel

Marque Davis, DT                 Wiregrass Ranch

Published December 9, 2015

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