Coaches, players prepare for Lions all-star game

Lions NorCal luncheon.PNG

Players, coaches and Lions Club members gathered for a kickoff luncheon for the 41st annual Lions NorCal All-Star Football Game doubleheader.

This year's games, an 8-man game followed by a traditional 11-man clash, are scheduled for Saturday, June 16 at Shasta College's Memorial Stadium.

More than 80 graduating seniors, many planning to play football in college, will be coached by decorated local high school staffs.

Anderson High School's Don Trotter will be coaching the North for the first time. He actually played in this game in 1983 after completing his high school career. His squad will square off against the South, coached by Ryan Reynolds of Sutter High School. Both men will do what they can to bring their teams together with just a few practices.

"You can't throw everything out there at once," Trotter said. "We'll take it easy. The athletes are gonna be the athletes and they're gonna take care of pretty much everything else. That's what makes a good coach, by the way, is those athletes."

Reynolds, who coached the South in the game two years ago, said keeping it fun for the athletes is important.

"You go out to practice, you put in some nice fun off the wall drills and things just to lighten things up," Reynolds said. "In the evening we'll do talent shows and things like that."

The 8-man coaches have similar philosophies.

"We've had this group text message going back and forth with all the kids," said Jake Daricek, the Los Molinos High School coach who is leading the South 8-man squad. "They're already building that team cohesion, cracking jokes on each other, so it's just a good way to learn their personalities, not just from watching film but getting to know them as individuals."

"You're getting these kids from all the different environments of these small towns, so we try to do stuff in practice where we can get them involved and keep them together," said Bryan Gerig, head coach of Big Valley High School who is coaching the 8-man North team. "(We) take them to Burney Falls and do stuff up there because there's not a lot of stuff to do in Big Valley."

Rosters for the game and more information can be found on the Lions All Star website here.

The annual game is sponsored by the Lions of Northern California District 4-C1. Proceeds of the game support Camp McCumber for children with diabetes.

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