Fans and followers of the Pasco County prep football scene can catch some final gridiron action this December.
That’s because some of the county’s top senior high football players will experience Friday night lights for one final time, at the 2020 Pasco County East-West Classic.
The sixth annual all-star showcase is slated for Dec. 17 at 7 p.m., at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School, 16351 Hays Rd., in Spring Hill.
The game — organized by the Pasco County Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) — features dozens of the best senior players from 15 county high schools (13 public, two private).
The game is branded as, “the best players from every position, from every school, showcasing their talent.”
Players on the East squad will represent Cypress Creek, Land O’ Lakes, Pasco, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch, Zephyrhills, and Zephyrhills Christian high schools.
Players on the West squad will represent Anclote, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic, Fivay, Gulf, Hudson, Sunlake, Mitchell and River Ridge.
Cypress Creek head coach Mike Johnson will lead the East squad and Sunlake head coach Trey Burdick will lead the West. The scheduled start date for practices was Nov. 30. The East squad will practice at Sunlake High and the West squad will practice at Wesley Chapel.
To select the rosters, coaches from each county high school gather in a “war room” and draft players from every school, and every position. After much deliberation, the all-star teams get whittled down to 40 players in the East and 40 players in the West.
Mitchell garnered the most team selections with 12 picks, followed by Pasco (eight), River Ridge (seven), Wiregrass Ranch (seven) and Zephyrhills (seven), respectively.
The idea for a countywide all-star football game was spearheaded several years ago by FCA area director Bob Durham, upon the suggestion of local FCA board of directors, who pointed to the success of long-established all-star games in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
The game has since proven to be a hit among local fans, drawing thousands of attendees each year.
The East team leads the all-time series 3-2, through the West won last year’s matchup 23-21.
For many of these players, the showcase provides a chance to perform in front of college recruiters, many of whom attend the game from across the Southeast region.
Though it may signal the last football game ever for some, other athletes are destined to play at various NCAA levels, or in the NAIA or junior college ranks.
In addition to the all-star game, players will be recognized at a dinner banquet where character awards, courage awards, GPA awards, and various skill awards will be distributed. A “Coach of the Year’” also will be named and voted on by county coaches. An all-star cheerleader team has been assembled for the showcase, too.
Tickets are $10 and will be available at the Bishop McLaughlin stadium ticket booth on gameday. Tickets also are available online at 2020PascoAllStars.eventbrite.com.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a 66-year-old ministry in public schools. In Pasco, there are chapters in every high shool in Pasco and five middle schools. Through the many student-led meetings, or “huddles” that take place on campuses, the FCA works to promote character, integrity, leadership and faith-based principles.
For more information, visit PascoAllStarGame.com, or email Bob Durham at .
Cypress Creek: Hunter Brinkley, Jake DiMarco, Brycen Hernandez, Gabriel Kolakoff, Collin Ostapchuk
Land O’ Lakes: Tyler Adcock, Zavion McKinon, Garrett Meredith, Issac Tavo
Pasco: Gabriel Barnes, Amir Burgess, Malcolm Gibbs, Josiah Harrison, Devin Jernigan, Jonathan Lee, Jabari Mention, Manuel Torres
Wesley Chapel: Noah Boyd, Duron Croson, Matt Helms, Owen Libby, Tyri Thomas
Wiregrass Ranch: Grady Clower, Larry Gibbs, Broden Guirl, Connor Hogan, Craig Kailimai, Adam Mihalek, Gabriel Thompson
Zephyrhills: Brian Ashmore, Mike Barber, Clayton Cornelius, Tre Gallimore, Jarrin Galyan, Dajuan McCullough, Zyre Roundtree
Zephyrhills Christian: Nick Novo, Bakari Sampson, Jonathan Zelasko
Head coach: Mike Johnson, Cypress Creek
Mark Barnes, Pasco
Trac Baughn, Land O’ Lakes
Nick Carroll, Zephyrhills
Tony Egan, Wesley Chapel
Mark Kantor, Wiregrass Ranch
Lane McLaughlin, Zephyrhills Christian Academy
Anclote: Jedrek Cordero, Thomas Crawford, Daionta Reynolds
Bishop McLaughlin: Nick Fairweather, Malik Giles, Shane Schull
Fivay: Justin Benson, Autin Blandford, Bryant Brooks, Desean Maytum, Richard Spade
Gulf: Malachi Rohling
Hudson: Derek Aarnio, Trey Angwin, Tim Harris, Chris Keeler, Zach Lewis
Mitchell: Maguire Anderson, Evan Brennan, Ezra Brennan, Cole Castro, Elijah Hadley, Johnny Fairbank, Ronnie Fiumara, Devin Nelson, Gary Shepard, Khamari Smith, Jacob Van Schenck, Greg Washington
River Ridge: Aiden Benjamin, Connor Finer, Grant Deshazer, Robert Marzicola, Robby Rinaldi, Alex Storey, Aaron Wyman
Sunlake: Will Arnett, Julian Galdos, Harrison Moran, Darrell Stevens
Head coach: Trey Burdick, Sunlake
Ryan Benjamin, River Ridge
Matt Durchik, Fivay
Donald Flannery, Hudson
Dan McLeod, Gulf
Andy Schmitz, Mitchell
Antony Smith, Anclote
Ken Stills, Bishop McLaughlin
Cypress Creek: Taryn Clowe, Brooke Sokolowski
Land O’ Lakes: Christina Agovino, Camryn Steele
Pasco: Alyson Partain, Emma Whited
Wesley Chapel: Tatum Hauser, Sydney Taylor
Wiregrass Ranch: Natalie Joles, Avery Warner
Zephyrhills: Madison Aguilera, Brianna Cunningham
Zephyrhills Christian: Leah Bush, Tayler Stanley
Anclote: Harley Green, Summer Johnson
Bishop McLaughlin: Tania Barbre, Alexis Deese
Gulf: Amaria DeCola, Ella Frerichs
Fivay: Amaree Belser, Kaley Werner
Hudson: Ariana Perri, Ryan Sullivan
Mitchell: Jenna King, Marissa Zullo
River Ridge: Bri Marney, Lexi Smith
Sunlake: Laylah Kibler, Bella Vento
ublished December 02, 2020