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Six locals joining All-Star football team
Pitman 2
Jason Foglia of Pitman is the only representative from the Prides 2014-15 team in this years 30th annual Rotary All-Star game. Foglia is attending Sterling College in Kansas in the fall. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The 30th annual Rotary North v. South All-Star football game is tonight and will feature the skills of players from more than 56 high schools, including Turlock and Pitman High.

A total of six local representatives will be participating in this year's game, five from Turlock and one from Pitman as a part of the North team that will be headed by Pacheco High School Head coach David Snapp.

“There is a great attitude out here,” Snapp said. “Sometimes with all these great players you put a lot of guys like that together you can have a lot of egos, a lot of guys that might not like each other, but we haven't had that issue at all. We have guys that want to play football.”

Jason Foglia of Pitman already joined the roster of the Lions All-Star game over a week ago and was also looking forward to an opportunity to compete with some of the best talent in the area.

“I feel great to be part of this. It is especially an honor to be able to play in both all-star games and it’s also very fun,” Foglia said. “It’s nice being the only Pitman player but it’s kind of weird at the same time. But I made some friends and I know some Turlock guys as well.”

Along with Foglia, the other Turlock natives will consist of: Jacob Mabie, Jeff Hynes, Robert Martinez, Ryan Murphy and Andrew Lopez, all Turlock Bulldog alumni.

“It’s very exciting to be out here and play another football game since high school is over and most people can't do it so it’s really an honor to play on this team,” said Hynes.

The Turlock High Bulldogs come off a postseason berth and a 2014 season where they went 6-5 overall and 4-1 in the Central California Conference.

“I am just happy to be able to play one last game and be a bull again,” Murphy said.

The Pitman Pride made the playoffs with a 7-2 regular season record and 3-2 in the CCC, but were eliminated in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division I Section playoffs.

With only three practices under their belt, Snapp was quick to implement a simple playbook that wouldn't take much to learn.

“All our guys, they all mesh well and play well and they are all doing what we ask,” Snapp said. “We got a simple game-plan that will stick in the kids’ minds. They are all good football players with great football IQs and it’s not hard to teach four or five pass and run plays.”

Snapp decided to stick to the basics, just counter and zone plays to the right or left.

“We’re not using numbers — just very simple stuff here,” Snapp added. “We understand these kids come from different programs and schemes so we know they can get this stuff down.”

The defense will be the same that Snapp ran at Pacheco, which includes four linebackers and only three defensive linemen.

“We will add stunts and blitzes to get guys an opportunity to get after the quarterback,” Snapp said. “It will be tough though because the South team apparently has a very big team… bigger than us.”

The average size for the South's linemen is 6'2 ½ and no player from the trenches weighs less than 240-pounds according to Bob Green the man responsible for making the game happen.

“All I can say is that it will be a great game, but the South is definitely a little bigger in size,” Green said.

As of now, Hynes and Murphy are both committed to playing football at Modesto Junior College this upcoming fall season.

“Right now I am fully committed to Modesto Junior College and I am planning on being there for one or two years and I am getting well acquainted with the players and coaches,” said Murphy. “Just having fun at the high school level and I want to give it my all as I get ready to head into MJC.”

The game between the North and South is scheduled to take place at Golden Valley High School in Merced at 7:45 p.m. today.