Despite a 23-5 loss in this past Saturday’s 34th annual North-South Rotary Bob Green Football Classic, the North squad, which had Turlock, Pitman, Denair and Hilmar representatives, showcased their abilities on the field one last time.
“It’s a good experience and good to be with a bunch of guys who are so talented at football,” said Denair’s Hunter Musgrave. “Defense and special teams are what I mostly played since they had so many guys on offense and so I played defense. My first play I got a pass interference which was debatable, but other than that I thought I played well.”
Pitman’s Matt Robinson and Angel Favila started with Cam Sherwood (Turlock) while Hunter Musgrave (Denair), Lucas Curtis (Turlock) and Isaac Sharp (Hilmar) saw the field in the opening minutes of the game.
“It was a fun night and we played as hard as we could. A lot of fun playing with this competition, but at the end of the day we lost, but we gave what we could and left it out on the field,” said Sherwood.
It was evident early on who the vocal leaders were.
Turlock, Pitman and Hilmar players were the quickest with motivational words on a consistent basis all night on the sidelines. When something happened either good or bad, it was usually one of the local guys making their voice heard within the team, using encouraging words to keep their teammates fighting till the end.
It became difficult, however, over the course of the game as the North’s possessions were limited while the opposition saw over half a dozen drives continue due to a questionable flag thrown.
Hilmar’s Nick Aguilera and Brennan Mason checked in on various occasions on the defensive side of the ball on the opening series. Robinson had the first tackle of the game for his defense.
This proved to be critical as Mason ended up tacking on two of the team’s five points for the game.
It happened in the second quarter with 6:58 remaining till half.
The South squad was forced inside their own five-yard line after committing a penalty and being backed up five yards. From there, with the help of Aguilera and company, Mason rushed his way to the outside and eventually got the sack for a safety, which made the score 7-2 at that point.
“I expected to do something. I always go out to the field hoping to do something, but when I got the sack for the safety I’ve never done that before and that is all I needed to do, I have done everything else on the football field, it was pretty sweet,” said Mason who also won a section (D-VI) and state title (D-VI AA) with Hilmar in the fall. “I am happy with how I played, didn’t get all the playing time since you have to get everyone in, but still did something for the team. Soon as they said let’s play some football I began smiling, brought back memories of Friday night lights.”
Contentious calls during the game didn’t help the North squad.
The ratio of flags called against the North was four for every one called against the South, while there were over 20 flags called against the North—a rare number for an All-Star contest.
None of it mattered, as in the end, the South came out with a win after outscoring the North 16-3 to end it.
Jordan Hooker of Stone Ridge Christian drilled a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter with 10:33 on the clock but that would be it for the North side.
Robinson and Favila were both on the North team and were crucial to the Pride’s success in the fall.
“It was super fun to be honest, there are a bunch of great guys and to be able to play with them was unique, they all have special talent and great to be able to play with all these great players,” said Robinson, who played in back-to-back All-Star games in consecutive weekends.
Musgrave was one of three running backs on the Denair backfield that amassed well over 3,000 yards on the ground and won their first ever Sac-Joaquin Section (D-VII) and CIF State (D-VII AA) Championship.
“I love Denair and everything they did for me, and they really helped me develop into the player I am,” said Musgrave. “We couldn’t have done anything better, it was the perfect way, ever since my sophomore year, we would talk about what we wanted to get done and it finally came true when we won state, it was like a movie, it was crazy.
“At MJC I will play receiver, at slot, and probably just to see the atmosphere of college and see where it takes me, since I have been waiting to play college football my whole life and ever since youth football,” Musgrave added. “My dad always let it be known that none of that would matter as much as college, so I can’t wait for that opportunity.”
Sherwood was a three-sport varsity player, competing for football, basketball and being in the top six singles on the boy’s tennis team—a sport that Sherwood picked up just in high school.
“I am really happy, for a lot of people, some people enjoy high school, some people don’t, but high school was awesome for me, Turlock High was great to me and athletically and academically, and my legacy at Turlock High is I played my hardest every game no matter what it was, just being a competitor and it is what I love to do and I think I left the best legacy I could.”
Next, he hopes to walk on to Point Loma for basketball after an unforgettable career at Turlock that saw him win three straight league titles for football that included the first ever Central California Athletic League title going a perfect 5-0 this past fall.
In basketball he was the undoubted leader for the past three seasons for head coach Doug Cornfoot.
“I think walking on is always difficult since you are going in with nothing, and not even guaranteed, but I know what I can bring to the table,” said Sherwood. “I have good coaches who I been working every day and trying to get ready so I when I go out for my walk on trial, I can give everything I got, we will see.”