The 1985 high school football season will be remembered for record-setting performances by running back Ray Pallares of Valencia, quarterback Shane Foley of Newport Harbor and wide receiver Robbie Katzaroff of Los Alamitos.
Pallares gained 2,083 yards in 1985 to finish his three-year career as the state's all-time leading rusher with 5,398 yards. On Oct. 18, Pallares ran for 238 yards in Valencia's 63-0 rout of Savanna to surpass former Santa Ana Valley star Myron White's total of 4,164 yards and become Orange County's all-time leading rusher.
Foley became the county's career passing leader by throwing for 5,264 yards in two seasons, including 3,026 yards as a senior.
The 5-foot 9-inch Katzaroff caught a county-record 93 passes and led Los Alamitos to the Empire League title.
All three players will be featured at 7:30 tonight in the 27th Orange County All-Star game in Orange Coast College's LeBard Stadium.
Foley is the primary reason local sportswriters have established the South as the favorite. The North leads the series, 15-10-1.
Foley will be throwing to swift receivers Nathan Call of Capistrano Valley and Rick Justice of Edison and sure-handed tight end Ken Griggs of Edison. The North will counter with running backs Pallares and Chuck Weatherspoon of La Habra. Pallares will be joined by two Valencia teammates --guard Joe Garten and tackle Xavier Hicks.
Tim Rosenkranz of Servite will be the North's starting quarterback. Rosenkranz passed for 2,536 yards, but North Coach Bill Craven figures to go with a ground-oriented attack and short passing game.
"My biggest concern is our secondary simply because the South's strength is its passing game," Craven said. "We're going to try to control the football with our running game and hopefully keep the ball out of Foley's hands as much as possible."
Foley, who will attend USC in the fall, has been the most impressive player in either camp during the past two weeks. He arrives early and stays long after practice to work with his receivers. If his offensive line can protect him, it could be a long night for the North.
"Foley has done everything we've asked of him, and he's done it very well," said Bill Crow, South coach. "Our passing game has really looked good."
The game won't be without defensive stars. El Modena's Don Gibson, acknowledged by many recruiters as the best two-way lineman in Southern California last season, will be counted on heavily by the North.
Gibson will start at defensive tackle, and Craven said the USC-bound star will play a lot on the offensive line, too. He's joined by outside linebacker Sean Cleary of El Modena, who has been the biggest surprise in the North camp.
Westminster nose guard Herman Baine will anchor the South defense. Baine is exceptionally quick and could make life miserable for the North running backs. Bill Craft, who intercepted 15 passes during his three-year career at Marina, anchors the South secondary.
Here's a look at how the teams match up:
RECEIVERS: Frank Gibson, father of North lineman Don Gibson, posed an interesting question the other day: "If you had your choice of just one receiver, who would you take? Call or Katzaroff?" That's a tough decision. Call has shown an uncanny ability to get open repeatedly. Katzaroff has missed several practices because of a wedding and freshman orientation at UCLA, but he's easily the North's best receiver. The South rates an edge at receiver with Griggs at tight end. As former Marina Coach Dave Thompson said, "Don't be surprised if he's playing in the NFL some day."
LINE: The North has a decided advantage here. Garten and Hicks played a big role in helping Pallares set his rushing records. Garten, headed for Colorado, is only a notch below Gibson on the talent chart. Gibson figures to join the Valencia duo if Servite's Mike Grabowski can't do the job. The big question is whether North center Chris Cisneros can handle nose guard Baine. No one in the South camp could. The big surprise for the South has been the play of 240-pound Marina guard John Porter.
RUNNING BACKS: Again, the North has the advantage. Pallares has received most of the publicity, but Weatherspoon is the best back to come out of the county since Edison's Kerwin Bell. Pity a poor defensive back who has to tackle the 215-pounder in the open field. Pallares and Weatherspoon complement each other in Craven's split backfield. Weatherspoon will attend the University of Houston after receiving a release from Colorado. Bart Recktenwald of La Quinta has been the South's most impressive back.