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Local football players ready for All Star matchup
All Star football preview 1
Logan Durkee, a Turlock High graduate, squares up against an opponent during a practice held at Central Catholic High School ahead of the Lions All Star Football game (SAMANTHA SCHMIDT/The Journal).

HUGHSON — The collective coaching staffs for the Hughson and Central Catholic high school football teams are gathered around a TV in the back yard of Huskies head coach Shaun King.

The coaches are relaxed and swapping war stories as they watch Hughson quarterback Robert McDaniel compete in Southern California at the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback skills competition.

The combined staffs, coaching the South squad in the Lions North-South All-Star Football Game, are continuing their evaluations of the roster.

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Pitman grad Matthew Burciaga runs the ball during an All Star practice (SAMANTHA SCHMIDT/The Journal).

Kickoff is Saturday at 7 p.m. at Wayne Schneider Stadium, 315 E. 11th St., Tracy.

Practices were held this past week at Hughson’s Memorial Stadium and at CC’s David Patton Field. 

Raiders coach Roger Canepa, who last year passed Escalon legend Mark Loureiro as the Sac-Joaquin Section’s all-time winningest coach, has been impressed with what he’s seen from King and his staff.

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Turlock alum Owen Miller braces for a hit during practice (SAMANTHA SCHMIDT/The Journal).

“Coach King has done a good job,” said Canepa, who guided the Raiders to four consecutive state championships between 2012 and 2015. “They’re one of the best small-school teams around … heck, they’re one of the best football teams around, period. They’ve got it going, and I like them because they’re old-school guys. They’ve paid their dues.”

High praise, indeed, from the five-time section champion.

Local players suiting up for the South tonight include Owen Miller, Logan Durkee and Kristian Guerrero from Turlock; Matthew Burciaga from Pitman, David Burns, David Delgado, Larkin Meyer, and Navi Arretche from Hughson; and Alex Cardenas from Hilmar. 

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Turlock alum Owen Miller braces for a hit during practice; and Turlock grad Kristian Guerrero makes contact with an opponent during practice (SAMANTHA SCHMIDT/The Journal).

The South team was victorious in last year’s game, 38-13, behind MVP Joey Stout of Pitman. It marked the fourth time in the last five games that the South has won, though the North leads in the series, 26-18-2.

Tickets that can be purchased via Tickets are $15. Only cash will be accepted at the gate and inside the stadium.