A total of four standout football players will lace up their cleats and put on their respective high school teams’ jersey and helmet one final time this weekend in the 46th annual Lions All-Star Football game from Lincoln High of Stockton’s field.
Representing the South squad will be Steffin Winston of Denair, the lone representative from his school, while Turlock High’s Jonah Kosakiewicz is the only Bulldog. They will join Pitman’s Scott Tyler and Matt Robinson in the game, two of the Pride’s leaders this past season.
“It means a lot to be selected. I come from a family where a lot of us have played in this game, so it feels good to continue that legacy,” said Tyler.
“We are from a small school, but being picked to represent my school with all these bigger schools means a lot,” said Winston, who attended a school that has an enrollment of under 300.
Winston was a playmaker and a catalyst for a Denair Coyotes team that made their way into the history books.
They captured the most wins in a single season with 12. They won the program’s first ever Sac-Joaquin Section Championship (D-VII), not to mention that they also clinched the program’s first ever CIF State Championship (D-VII AA).
Denair went 9-1 during the regular season and 12-1 overall.
Denair’s only loss of the season came at the hands of 12-1 Ripon Christian, which only lost to SJS Division-VI champions and CIF State champs Hilmar High.
“I am going to work my hardest to work hard out here and help out the team as much as I can,” said Winston.
Turlock High has had a memorable past few years in football, especially the last three and Kosakiewicz was part of the last two league undefeated seasons.
Prior to the start of the 2018 fall season, the Turlock Bulldogs had won two straight league titles.
They continued that run this fall by capturing the first ever CCAL title, going undefeated (5-0) in league in the process while rostering multiple future college ball players.
One of those was quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz, who stepped up for his team time and time again throughout the year.
In 11 games, Kosakiewicz rushed for 620 yards and scored eight times on the ground.
Through the air, Kosakiewicz completed 61.8 percent of his passes and threw for 1,736 yards to go with 14 touchdown passes and six interceptions.
Turlock is 17-0 in league play over the last three seasons and have won three straight league championships.
“We made school history with three straight league titles in a row, but being selected after all the guys who have been selected in the past, it means a lot to be able to represent Turlock High,” said Kosakiewicz. “Hopefully we can bring another MVP award since we have had several in recent memory, so that would be nice, but overall I want to win the game and have fun doing it.”
For the second time in three years, Pitman won their first nine games of the regular season.
Following a 9-0 start, the Pride were set to take on the Turlock Bulldogs in a winner-take-all scenario for the Central California Athletic League title in the final game of the regular season.
Unfortunately for the Pride, the Bulldogs came out on top, handing the Pride their only loss of the regular season.
Pitman ended up winning their first-round playoff contest before they were eliminated in the second round to end their year tied with the best record in program history at 10-2.
“We had an amazing season, our team had so much chemistry, honestly, and it was unreal to tie for the most wins in school history (10), that was just amazing,” Robinson added. “I am pretty excited and am happy to play, but I always been looked at since I am a smaller guy and a linebacker, but being here is an honor and being with one of my main dudes on the team is fun. I am going to MJC next year and I will be playing in the Rotary game, so going back to back.”
“The season overall was a great season, my team, like Matt said, we had a lot of chemistry, especially having double-digit win season,” Tyler added. “That was a lot of fun and an honor to play in this game and will play in the Rotary game as well and we will have some more guys from Pitman and keep the momentum going.”