Players and coaches get together for the Central Coast High School All-Star Football Game’s first team meeting and practice on Jan. 18. (Contributed)

SALINAS VALLEY — Featuring nearly two dozen players from South Monterey County, the 37th annual Central Coast High School All-Star Football Game kicks off this Saturday at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas.

Local high schools from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties had their respected head coaches nominate their players, who have been assembled into two teams.

“The premier post-high school football event on the Central Coast brings together some of the most outstanding high school athletes from across the area,” said Co-Committee Chair Mali Cuda. “We love football and know the local community wants to see this game continue.”

Both teams will hold practices together this week before the Jan. 28 game, which starts at 7 p.m. with entrance gates opening at 5:30 p.m. at Rabobank Stadium, 1034 N. Main St., in Salinas.

The 2022 Central Coast All-Star High School Football Game will bring together 80 of the top high school football players from around the tri-county area to one field.

“This 37th annual game will bring excitement, competitiveness and an all-around good time,” Cuda said. “For many of the players that attend, it is time to meet the peers they have competed against throughout their high school career.”

Representing South Monterey County are the following players: Carlos Alvarez, Champ Flores, Isaac Garcia and Nico Montes of Gonzales High School; Jonathan Anaya, Alonso Barcenas, Eric Hernandez, Nathaniel Olivas, Luis Pacheco, Marco Silva and Cristian Zavala of Greenfield High School; Raul Garcia, Mason Hill and Jose Martinez of King City High School; and Jaiden Blanco, Dominic Chavez, Jacob Fletes, James Lara, Damian Matos, Erick Parra, Daniel Raso and Jacobo Ruelas of Soledad High School.

“Not only has this year’s game been blessed with talented players, but the teams have been honored with amazing coaches from all over the central coast,” Cuda said.

The teams will be led by Head Coach Juan Cuevas of North Monterey County High School and Coach Eric Rodriguez of Soledad High School. Together, they have compiled coaches to staff their teams from other high schools throughout the tri-county area.

In addition, Coaches Cuevas and Rodriguez have each chosen a local nonprofit for their team to represent: Coastal Kids Home Care and South County Animal Rescue (SCAR), respectively. Donation bins will be set up around the stadium to support these causes.

The money raised will be donated to each charity after the game, and the winning team will be awarded a bonus donation for their cause, according to Cuda.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 students w/school ID, $10 age 65 and over, and $5 for all youth players and cheerleaders wearing their youth football team jersey or cheer jacket. Parking costs $5, as well.

This is Central Coast High School All-Star Football Game’s 10th year organizing the event. 

“Central Coast High School All-Star Football Game is dedicated to assisting youth in developing the characteristics of citizenship, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and physical and mental well-being through the spirit of youth sports,” Cuda said.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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