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Hughson’s King to coach Lion’s South All-Star team
Shaun King
Hughson Huskies head coach Shaun King dons his new Sac-Joaquin Section Champions hat in November 2023 — a replacement for the 2022 championship hat he burned for motivation before the beginning of the season. King has been chosen to coach the South All-Stars for the 48th Central California Lions All-Star Football Game (Journal file photo).

Hughson High’s Shaun King has been chosen to coach the South All-Stars for the 48th Central California Lions All-Star Football Game, which will be played June 22 at Tracy High School.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

The game pits the top graduated high school football players from Stanislaus and Merced counties against those from San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties.

King, who guided the Huskies to a second consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division 6 championship last fall, will co-coach the South with Central Catholic’s Roger Canepa, the section’s all-time winningest coach.

Linden High’s Alexander Metchikoff will coach the North squad.

In addition to back-to-back section titles, King led Hughson to the 2022 state 5-AA championship with a 9-6 win over Muir (Pasadena). The Huskies returned to the NorCal regional in 2023 against Palma (Salinas), but lost 31-21, a victory shy of returning to the state title game.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said King, who owns a 45-23 career record and has never failed to get Hughson into the playoffs. “It’s a free clinic for me just to coach with Roger for a week. He actually called and asked if we’d do the defense. I wasn’t going to turn that down. In my mind, he’s the best coach in the state.

“In the offseason, I actually have him come down and meet with us and do a little clinic, because it’s free. We’ve worked with him for a few years now and built a great relationship. You’ve got to learn from these coaches who have been coaching for so long. That’s just free knowledge.”

Canepa, who previously coached at Calaveras and Sonora high schools, notched his 283rd career victory with the Raiders’ final win last season, passing Escalon’s Mark Loureiro (282), who spent all 27 of his years at Escalon High. Canepa led the Raiders to four consecutive state titles between 2012 and 2015, with the 2015 squad going 16-0. Central Catholic reached the 2-AA the title game in 2021, but fell to Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista). In the CIF’s modern playoff era, only the legendary Bob Ladouceur of De La Salle (Concord) has more state championships, with five.

“Shaun’s a good guy and a good coach,” said Canepa. “He’s got it rolling right now at Hughson. He’s old school and it’s nice to find guys like that.

“I like him. He’s a good dude.”

King will be joined by Navi Arretche, David Burns, David Delgado, and Larkin Meyer, who by then will have gone through graduation ceremonies at HHS.

“It’ll be nice to have one more chance to coach some boys who have meant a lot to me and to Hughson High School,” said King.

Other local stars representing the South squad include Turlock’s Kristian Guerrero (OL) and Owen Miller (LB) and Hilmar’s Alex Cardenas (OL).

The South earned a 38-13 victory in last year’s game behind game MVP Joey Stout of Pitman High. It marked the fourth time in the last five games that the South has won, but the North still leads in the series, 26-18-2.

Practices for the game will be held June 17-18 and 20–22 at Central Catholic High School, 200 S. Carpenter Rd., Modesto. The June 19 practice session will be conducted at Hughson High School, 7419 E. Whitmore Ave.

The pre-game banquet will be held April 13 at Stockton’s Italian Athletic Club, 3541 Cherryland Ave.

At the conclusion of last year’s game and continuing for this year, the game’s most valuable player will be honored with the Wayne Schneider MVP Award. The top defender will be honored with the Bob Mattos Defensive MVP Award while the offensive player of the game will be honored with the Les Ratzlaff Offensive MVP Award. Schneider (former Tracy High head coach), the late Mattos (formerly of Stockton Stagg) and the late Ratzlaff (formerly of Turlock) were the three coaches who worked to start the Lions All-Star Game in 1974.


South All-Stars (alphabetical roster)


WR Adam Aguilar (Los Banos)

WR Jeremiah Bernard (Modesto Christian)

LB Jalonn Booth (Merced)

DE Jackson Brooks (Grace Davis, Modesto)

LB David Burns (Hughson)

LB Chase Caetano (Buhach Colony, Atwater)

OL Alex Cardenas (Hilmar)

DL Jacob Coronado (Golden Valley, Merced)

WR/DB David Delgado (Hughson)

LB Reyes Diaz (LeGrand)

RB Juan Esquivez (Orestimba, Newman)

OL Trytin Gastelum (Golden Valley, Merced)

DL Gavin Gleason (Oakdale)

OL Kristian Guerrero (Turlock)

WR/DB Trace Hernandez (Central Catholic, Modesto)

QB David Herrera (Los Banos)

DE Jack Hinchey (Downey, Modesto)

DE Derrick Kirkendall (Downey, Modesto)

OL Troy Leota (Central Catholic, Modesto)

OL/DL Nathaniel Lozano (Patterson)

RB Michael Marsden (Gregori, Modesto)

WR/DB Larkin Meyer (Hughson)

LB Owen Miller (Turlock)

RB Aiden Muhammad (Enochs, Modesto)

OL/DL Anthony Nixon (Merced)

DB/WR Marley Okoro (Enochs, Modesto)

QB/DB Izrael Sanchez (Grace Davis, Modesto)

RB Chase Smith (Merced)

OL Daniel Valencia (Grace Davis, Modesto)

TE/LB Seth Van Dyke (Central Catholic, Modesto)

DT Samuel Vasquez (Johansen, Modesto)

DB Antonio Vizcaino (Downey, Modesto)

DB Trey Webb (Gregori, Modesto)

OL Glen Weber (Oakdale)

WR/DB Jonah White (Golden Valley, Merced)

North All-Stars (alphabetical roster)


WR/DB Bryan Anaya (Edison, Stockton)

DB Anthony Billbery (Edison, Stockton)

RB Asante Carter (St. Mary’s, Stockton)

OL Giovanni Chavez (Escalon)

WR Elijah Chrim (Lincoln, Stockton)

RB Xzavier Clark (Ripon)

RB/LB Tony Cowan (Linden)

DB Barrett Crosby (Tokay, Lodi)

WR/DB Troyaaron Davis (McNair, Stockton)

WR Darius Doyle (Kimball, Tracy)

LB Jac Easthouse (Kimball, Tracy)

DB Daniel Emojevbe (Lincoln, Stockton)

LB Jason Evans (Tokay, Lodi)

LB Jesus Gonzalez III (Linden)

OL Melino Halaholo (Lincoln, Stockton)

DL Javonnie Haymon (Edison, Stockton)

QB/RB Samson Hunkin (St. Mary’s, Stockton)

OL Xavier Johnson (St. Mary’s, Stockton)

C C.J. King (Manteca)

LB Maxwell Laird (Tracy)

DB Samear Lattier (Tracy)

DL Jaxon Ludwig (Sonora)

DB Bodie Rey Lychak (Kimball, Tracy)

LB Jamin Miller (Escalon)

LB Tommy Perea (Manteca)

WR Jay Reames (Linden)

LB Junior Saavedra (Kimball, Tracy)

OL Thomas Serrano (St. Mary’s, Stockton)

QB Matthew Shinn (Lodi)

OL Jeremiah Singleton (Stagg, Stockton)

OL/DL Isaac Tepelu (Kimball, Tracy)

DB Adam Taylor (St. Mary’s, Stockton)

QB Aidan Van Os (Tracy)

DE Nehemiah Williams (Mountain House)

OL/DL Jordan Wynne (Summerville, Tuolumne)

OL/DL Reece Wynne (Summerville, Tuolumne)