For those who have missed football--more specifically, Coastal Conference football--the Ventura County All-Star game Saturday night should provide plenty.
Twenty-four of the players in last season's conference championship game--13 from Thousand Oaks and 11 from Channel Islands--will suit up for the 7:30 p.m. game at Oxnard High.
Furthermore, Thousand Oaks Coach Bob Richards will coach the East All-Stars, Channel Islands Coach Joel Gershon the West.
Thousand Oaks and Channel Islands, both of the Marmonte League, met twice last season.
The Lancers defeated Channel Islands in a league game, 27-6, and again in the conference final, 27-12.
A chance at revenge for Gershon? He prefers to downplay the parallels, but admitted it has crossed his mind. The casts, he said, although similar in their foundation, have changed.
"I think maybe initially I was thinking in those terms," Gershon said. "But it's really for the kids. Any personal thoughts I had will stay at that level."
At any level, the quarterback situation for the West is more stable than it is for the East.
Hueneme's Joel Gaxiola and Ventura's Jason Matheny, both first-team All-Channel League passers, will split time for the West.
As a precautionary measure, running back Marc Monestime and wide receiver Lance Alverson have taken snaps behind East starter Steve Sisco. All three are from Thousand Oaks.
Santa Paula's Will McInerney has a sore arm and Westlake's Bob Grandpre was a late addition.
"We need more than one quarterback," said Richards, who may be forced to keep the ball on the ground most of the game. "Especially in a game like this."
Quarterback problems are an anomaly in the all-star game, where prolific passers are the norm. Rules that prohibit blitzing offer quarterbacks more time to pass and coaches tend to be less conservative in their play-calling than they are during the regular season.
"I think we'll put the ball up in the air," Gershon said. "There's no doubt about that.
"This is the cream of the crop in what was a very good year in the county, and the kids have just responded to instruction so well. They're like big sponges on the field."
And that's good--unless it rains.