With the Lions District 4-1A All Star Football Game two months away, players and coaches selected for the game gathered Saturday evening for a banquet at the Italian Athletic Club in Stockton.
Former Tracy High football coach and game organizer Wayne Schneider introduced the 60 players, and their coaches, who will compete in the 41st installment of the annual tradition. The game will be played June 14 at Tracy High’s Wayne Schneider Stadium.
Tracy has four local players named to the North All Star team, all with plans to play football in college.
Tracy High center Clayton Fegett, who has committed to NCAA Divison III Cal Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, looks forward to teaming up with former rivals at the all-star game.
“I know that a lot of the hard workers that I’ve played against will be on the same team,” he said. “It feels great to be acknowledged for all my hard work.”
Kimball High running back Gaige Allen recently committed to NCAA Division II Azusa Pacific College near Los Angeles. He said he’s proud to add the Lions All Star Game to his list of accolades.
“It means a lot, to know that only a few people get to play in this game,” he said. “I’m just excited for the game. I can’t wait.”
Tracy High lineman George Obinna has committed to play at NCAA Division I Sacramento State. He said that in his two years of football, he was motivated by support from teammates.
“My team has helped me get over a lot of obstacles,” he said. “I just play better because they helped me play better.”
Tracy running back and linebacker Chaz Briggs said he’s talking to colleges and plans to keep playing football. He hopes the college experience will be as meaningful as his high school years.
“All four years have been some of the best that I’ve had in my life,” he said, adding that his senior year, when Tracy won the San Joaquin Athletic Association title, was the highlight. “I felt like I was with my friends every day and it made it into a winning season.”
Featured speaker Matt Overton, a 2003 Tracy High graduate and now the long snapper with the Indianapolis Colts, said the high school all-stars have a good head start on college football careers.
He said that two years at Diablo Valley Junior College in Pleasant Hill showed him that players can make their own opportunities at all levels of college football, including the junior college level.
“If that’s the route you’re taking, the state of California has some of the best football players in the country, and you’re going to be playing against them every single week,” he said.
After two years at DVC, Overton got a scholarship to attend NCAA Division II Western Washington University, where he got to play right away and gain the attention of NFL scouts. Upon graduation, he got a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, but he was cut after three days.
“It’s a hard experience, because you get that taste and then it’s over in the blink of an eye, but I got that taste and I wanted more,” he said.
He stayed active with the Arena Football League and the United Football League, got another shot with the Seattle Seahawks, was cut again, and went back to the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks. He credits Omaha teammate Maurice Clarett with inspiring him to never give up, even after the Nighthawks cut Overton in the 2011 season.
Overton joined the Colts in 2012 as an undrafted free agent and was selected in 2013 to the NFL Pro Bowl.
“Some of you may be uncertain about where you want to go, but if you have that dream and desire and you’re working for it, great things will happen,” Overton said. “Many doors will open for you.”
Contact Bob Brownne at email@example.com or 830-4227.