A total of eight football players from Turlock, Pitman, Hilmar and Denair highs have been selected to participate in this year’s 34th annual North-South Rotary Bob Green Football Classic.
Hilmar High sent three in Brennan Mason, Nick Aguilera and Isaac Sharp. Denair has Hunter Musgrave while Turlock is sending Lucas Curtis and Cam Sherwood. Pitman has Matt Robinson and linemen Angel Favila playing in the game as well.
“Great opportunity to go out and we get one more shot for high school football players and it is the best of the best from the region, so pretty special moment for sure,” said Curtis.
“Feels pretty good and [I’m] honored. I was one of the smaller linemen so I was surprised. I think we had a good year, the O-line in general, only six sacks allowed, making school history,” said Favila. “I feel we are going to win. I am done after this with football, it was a pretty good year, honestly, hard to find words for it.”
Pitman High’s Robinson and Favila were crucial assets for a team that kicked off the year winning their first nine games and saw a perfect record heading into the regular season finale against Turlock High for the inaugural Central California Athletic League title.
Pitman tied the most wins in a single season with 10 and they lost just two games in the process.
In their first year in the CCAL, Pitman went 4-1, losing only to the CCAL champs, Turlock High.
“It was definitely a good year overall, ended up shooting for 20 touchdowns and I got 22 and so it was a pretty good season since I also wanted to break 500 on the receiving and rushing end, and did that, so it was cool,” said Curtis. “MJC is next and try and play slot and see if I can get a scholarship out of there.”
Jonah Kosakiewicz of Turlock High was the Lions All-Star game’s Most Valuable Player and the Offensive Player of the Year for the South team and was selected to play in the Rotary game until he fractured his left shoulder during the week leading up to the game.
Turlock High will see two other standouts take the field in the game on Saturday when Sherwood and Curtis play one final game wearing the blue and gold.
The duo of outstanding playmakers was among the best in the District this past fall.
In 11 games recorded, Curtis rushed the ball 124 times for 686 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.
Sherwood had 39 catches in 11 games and a team-high 720 receiving yards, along with eight touchdowns. Curtis had 27 catches and 492 yards receiving and four scores in the air.
“I am being recognized after the hard work during the season and it feels good to be selected. I’m honored and humbled and it puts it into perspective to play in this game with some of the best around,” said Sherwood. “Expectations for the game, I am super excited and I want to play hard, play the best I can since it may be the last football game, so leave it out on the field. I am going to Point Loma and hopefully try and walk on and play basketball there.”
Musgrave of Denair was the lone representative after his teammate Steffin Winston played in last week’s Lions All-Star Football Classic.
Not only was Musgrave part of the three-headed monster backfield for the Coyotes that helped them win a section and state title, but he was the outright starter when the season started.
Following a few setbacks, Musgrave along with Winston, cracked the 1,000-yard mark and was vital to the program’s best season ever.
They went 12-1, winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VII Championship followed by the CIF State (D-VII AA) trophy.
Their only loss came at the hands of a 12-1 Ripon Christian team that was the SJS D-VI runners-up.
“It feels good to represent my school and I am honored to play in such a big game,” said Musgrave. “I wasn’t really looking forward to having a standout year, the goal was to win a state title and we did. I am going to play at MJC and wherever, I trust the program will take me somewhere.”
Hilmar High’s Sharp, Aguilera and Mason look to be going towards the Modesto Junior College route—a good one for recent football players—as MJC has become a national contender and one of the best transfer schools around.
“I have options and scholarships, but MJC is maybe where I am headed since I want to stay local,” said Sharp. “Honestly, it is a pretty big honor to be chosen. It’s dope, chosen to be an All-Star you are recognized as one of the best in the area and that has been one of my goals during the season, especially as a junior and senior getting all the attention, so it is a goal to shoot for.”
The 13-2 Yellowjackets capped off their best season to-date — which is saying something, considering all the program’s success in football over the years.
They won a Sac-Joaquin Section (D-VI) Championship and also clinched the first ever CIF State Championship (D-VI AA).
“We had the drive from last season when we lost by a point, and then it just drove us all season long, we knew we had it in us. Playing at MJC and hoping I get bigger and play somewhere else, just doing it for a little longer because it is what I love,” said Mason.
Look for the Hilmar three to make an impact in Saturday’s game after they held Pitman’s first team offense scoreless in their exhibition game last August.
“Being selected to play in this All-Star game is great. I grew up playing with many of them from different schools and to come together and be on the same team is really cool. It feels nice. I think we’ve got a chance; we’ve got some dogs here,” Aguilera added.
The game is slated to take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday from Veterans Stadium in Merced.