The 32nd edition of the San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame All-Star football game has the West team looking for a little respect.
Last year, the East All Stars won, 40-0. Monrovia wide receiver Jay Henderson, an All-Star on the West team, doesn’t want to see a repeat.
“Last year came up short, came up real bad,” Henderson said. “Hopefully this year we get a W. We’ve been working hard in practice, executing all our plays.”
This year's Hall of Fame game will be at West Covina High School on Friday night at 7. The game features a number of players from local Patch schools in the San Gabriel Valley.
The Wildcats lead the way with four representatives led by Henderson and quarterback Nick Bueno. Muir boasts three players in receiver Karl Holmes Jr., quarterback Jeffrey Davis and linebacker Howard Vaughn. Pasadena follows with two: Offensive lineman Noah White and receiver/defensive back Kenny James.
Offensive lineman Bryan Luna represents Crescenta Valley, wide out Antoine Peterson is from La Salle and South Pasadena's Michael Lind should see time on the offensive line. Arcadia also has one representative in receiver David Maldonado.
Monrovia head coach Ryan Maddox, the coach of the West All-Stars, has been preparing his players for about three weeks for the game. He said speed will be one of his team’s strengths and he wants to use it to counter the size on the offensive and defensive lines of the East team.
“I know they’ve got a solid line,” Maddox said about the East All-Stars. “They’re big up front. If it turns into a shoving match, we could be in for some trouble.”
The East All-Stars have a considerable advantage in the series. They are 19-10-2. After last year’s dominating performance, the East All-Stars are expected to enter the game with a ton of confidence.
The East All-Stars also have considerable talent.
Two of the quarterbacks for the East All-Stars, Walnut’s Aubrey Coleman and Bishop Amat’s Wallace Gonzalez, are 6-foot-5 and can throw the ball effectively. The East also has a speedy running back in Marquise Thomas from Northview and a clutch receiver in Aaron Dockery from Claremont.
“They’re going to try to run on us. I know them, they all run real good,” Henderson said. “They’re going to try and hand the ball off. We just watch out for them throwing over the top of us.”
The West is loaded with players from Monrovia, . In addition to Henderson and Bueno, defensive back Derrin Jenkins and offensive lineman Dean Bisterfeldt are on the West.
“It’s an honor. It’s a honor that we were selected,” Maddox said. “We’ve got a great group. They have a lot of fun together.”
Bueno threw for 1,828 yards and 23 touchdowns in leading Monrovia to a 12-2 record in his senior season. He also ran for another 1,513 yards and 14 TDs.
Davis, who led Muir to the second round of the , will share quarterback duties with Bueno in the Hall of Fame game.
Maldonado played with Bueno when they were freshmen at Monrovia. Maldonado said he is looking forward to playing his last high school football game with his old teammate at quarterback.
“I really want to win this game and show the West is better than the East,” Maldonado said.
Maddox said having Bueno as his quarterback gives him some more options on offense. He also has a talented group of receivers at his disposal. Holmes, who’s headed to Arizona State University in the fall, is one of them.
“We have good speed. We’ve got a little bit of everything,” Maddox said. “We’ve got some good linemen. Our overall strength will be quickness and speed. It’s about them. It’s about them having fun. It’s an all-star game. It’s about them having fun and competing. I am looking forward to Friday night. We’re ready to go.”