Earlier game date brings new set of issues for Hall of Fame All-Star Game

M-Town and Muir may not be there for the West, but B-Mart certainly will be.

When: May 17, 7 p.m.
Where: West Covina HS

Organizers of next week’s Hall of Fame All-Star Game for the area’s top high school football seniors are hoping that moving up the date will result in a bigger crowd and an easier experience for players and coaches.

The crowd size remains to be seen, but one things for certain, the game will have stiff competition from the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section baseball playoffs slated to begin that same day.

“We’re trying to find a right and right place,” game organizer Leon Ward said Thursday. “You can’t wait too long for it because it’s hard to do it when the kids have already graduated and they’re gone. Talking to the coaches, they would rather do it the earlier the better.”

This year’s game will be played Friday, May 17 at West Covina with kickoff at 7 p.m. In previous years, the Hall of Fame Game was always been played in June or July after school had let out and the players graduated.

But with high school football now a year-around proposition, coaches who coach the all-star game often do so at the expense of spending time with their own teams during the now-crucial passing circuit.

Game organizers had considered moving the game even earlier in the school year than May, but ultimately settled on this year’s date. That hasn’t been as much of a problem for the East team as it has the West.

The West roster pools players from schools located west of the 605 Freeway. The top program in that area is Monrovia, which won’t have any players in this year’s game because May 17 is prom night.

Muir players invited to the game to play for the West declined because next weekend is track and field finals. San Marino players shunned their invite to concentrate on baseball.

“We thought it was going to work out fine,” Ward said. “The coaches were all in favor of it. For the last two or three years, that’s been on the agenda because of all the coaches asking us to move it up.

“We moved it up thinking we’d be okay. And for the most part, it’s been okay except that we got one bomb dropped on us last week when we found out the Monrovia kids had prom.”

The defections have left West head coach Joel Sanchez of El Monte scrambling to find replacements and keep his team together.

“They’re good kids and they’re working hard,” Joel Sanchez said. “It’s been tough getting everybody here together. When they’re all here, like yesterday, we have 43 (players).

“Just getting everybody here has been the tough part.”

High school football all-star games are no easy task to put together. Even the longstanding Shrine All-Star Game, which once filled the Los Angeles Coliseum with fans, folded due to poor crowd attendance and player participation.

The quandary for the Hall of Fame Game has always been player participation because much of the top local talent had already left to begin their college career by the time game night rolled around, or they did not want to risk injury by playing in the game.

Playing in the game, however, hasn’t stopped many former local greats from going on to prosperous careers. Blair’s Sean Smith and West Covina’s Walter Thurmond III played in the 2005 game and are now in the NFL.

The moved-up game date has actually helped the East roster lure a talented quartet from Charter Oak, which includes Colorado-bound receiver Bryce Bobo, who otherwise might not have played if the game was held in June or July like previous years.

Despite the logistical problems, Sanchez has been able to field a talented roster that’s led by Tribune Player of the Year Brandon Martinez of El Monte, who is hoping to quarterback the West to a win.

“People always think he looks good because of playing in our league, but he looks good out here,” Sanchez said. “He’s good and he’s looking good out here, so that’s a plus for us.”


0 M. Matiarena 6″4 290 T Salesian
1 Wardell Barry 5’7 160 DB Pasadena
2 Albert Llamas 5″8 160 ss St. Paul
3 Brandon Martinez5’7 165 QB EL Monte
4 Peter Aholoka 5’9 165 RB Arroyo
5 Johhny Garcia 5’9 165 WR FS EL Rancho
6 Ruben Jimenez 5’10 195 LB EL Monte
7 Joey Sanchez 5’10 185 QB SS EL Rancho
8 S. San Miguel 6’0 175 WR DB Rosemead
9 Jake Holguin 6’3 205 WR Rio Hondo Prep
10 Lorenzo Mena 5’10 185 LB Gabrielino
11 Nick Downs 6’2 220 LB St. Paul
12 Josh Mendoza 5’11 175 QB Garfield
13 Gabriel Larios 6’0 160 WR San Gabriel
15 Ramon Sierra 6’4 285 DE Garfield
17 Jared Gonzelez 5’8 175 RB Cantwell
18 Ricardo Fonseca 5’9 175 WR SS Schurr
20 Jorge Reyes 5″10 165 FB LB St. Paul
21 Ivan Lezama 5’9 175 LB Schurr
22 Jesse Pina 6’0 220 FB DE Hoover
24 Roger Lemus 5’8 200 RB Lincoln
25 Austin Ford 5’11 205 LB Arcadia
26 Alex Saavedra 5’11 235 OL DL St. Paul
26 Pablo Ocegueda 5’10 165 FS South El Monte
27 Steven Barron 5’7 160 DB Don Bosco Tech
28 Abel Barajas 5’11 185 WR EL Monte
29 Torus Stepney 5’5 155 DB Pasadena
32 Ezra Broadus 5’7 170 RB CB Alhambra
33 Marcus Lewis 6’0 195 RB SS Duarte
34 Eric Alvarez 6’1 215 LB San Gabriel
43 Chris Reed 6’1 205 FB LB Temple City
44 Chris Mendoza 5’10 195 LB Bell Gardens
50 J. Betancourt 5’9 185 C DE Temple City
51 James Rivera 5’10 230 C T Arroyo
53 Chris Cavalero 6’2 250 OL NT Alhambra
55 Adrian Barrios 6’1 225 OL DE Arcadia
65 Flemming White 6’5 315 G Pasadena
67 Bryan Rodriguez 6’2 295 OL Montebello
74 Erwin Melesio 6’3 300 OL DL Linclon
77 Chris Vargas 6’1 245 T Bell Gardens
78 Nelson Leon 5’11 225 OL Rosemead
79 Corey Reaves 6’1 265 OL DL Verdugo Hills
81 Adolfo Sanchez 5’9 165 WR EL Monte
85 Richard Natividad 6’1 205 DE South El Monte


1 Noel Martinez La Puente REC 6’1 165
2 Andy Sherwood Damien REC 5’7 165
3 Muleck Henderso West Covina DB 5’10 190
5 Bryce Bobo Charter Oak REC 6’3 195
6 Aaron Parham South Hills REC 6’1 210
7 Matt Simko Chino Hills QB 6’3 220
9 Jacob Farias South Hills DB 5’10 180
10 Jesus Arteaga Azusa DB 5’9 162
11 Kevin Amezquita Gladstone QB 6’1 180
14 Alex Arellano Chino WR
15 Josh Savage Damien WR 6’2 200
16 Brandt Davis Bonita K 6’0 180
17 Eric Ortiz Charter Oak LB 6’1 239
18 Bahlil Thompson Garey ATH 6’1 175
20 Reggie Turner Bonita RB 5’9 195
21 Aaron Vaughns Charter Oak RB 5’8 170
22 Aaron Sanchez Gladstone LB 5’8 205
23 Elvis Toscano Santa Fe DB 5’7 160
28 Khari Garcia Charter Oak DB 5’11 185
29 Cade Lindsay Glendora RB 5’10 160
34 Aaron Salgado West Covina RB 5’8 205
40 Terrance Manderville Nogales REC 6’2 190
42 Roy Torres Northview LB 5’11 220
43 Justin Buga San Dimas LB 5’11 191
44 Aaron Franklin West Covina DB 5’11 193
45 Eric Noyola Los Altos TE 5’11 215
50 Justin Tumer Covina LB 5’9 230
51 Noah Garcia Diamond Ranch OL 6 263
52 Mike Mora Sierra Vista LB
54 Elia Semu Covina OL 5’11 220
55 Jacob Hughes Whittier Chr. DL 6’3 220
57 Jacob Gamboa California OL 5’10 245
58 Tommy Green Glendora OL 6’3 280
60 Matthew Lopez Bishop Amat DL 6’0 245
61 DJ Theard Bonita OL 6’5 295
66 German Ponce California DL 5’11 260
72 Adrian Solchaga Gladstone OL 5’9 230
74 Dustin Sanford Sonora OL 6’3 260
77 Greg Lawton Rowland DL 5’10 175
79 Christian Lopez Gladstone OL 6’3 255
84 Adam Romero West Covina DL 6’1 190
87 Hunter Grap Don Lugo TE 6’5 220
90 Isaiah Osorio La Serna DL 6’0 245
92 Cody Walsh Chino DL 6’4 240

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