SAN DIEGO — See Teddy Lawrence. See Teddy Lawrence run. See Markeith Ross and Marlon Manassa run, too.
See Herb Meyer good-naturedly cringe. Meyer, coach of El Camino High's 2-A San Diego Section football champions, has the dubious honor of coaching the 2-A all-stars against the 3-A all-stars tonight at Torrey Pines High in the Mighty 690 Pepsi Classic All-Star game, the first such interdivisional match-up.
Trouble is, the 3-A team has a more celestial cast than does the 2-A team.
"We have eight of 17 all-CIF players we asked to play," Meyer said. "They have 15 out of 25."
The 3-A's backfield alone is enough to send the 2-A defense on a night-long foot chase. Morse's Lawrence, Rancho Buena Vista's Ross and Point Loma's Manassa, heavy hitters who together rushed for 4,621 yards last season, make up the bulk of that backfield. Also on the 3-A roster is Steve Gomez, who gained 1,119 yards last year for Chula Vista.
It could have been worse. If a vacation hadn't kept Mira Mesa running back Wayne Pittman from making an appearance, the 2-A defense would be staring at the first, second and third leading rushers in the county for 1990.
"Teddy and Markeith are the two biggest names in the game," Meyer said. "Our concern is to try and keep them under control."
In keeping with his regular-season tradition of talking about who \o7 is \f7 playing rather than who \o7 is not\f7 , Meyer wouldn't say who the no-shows are, but Kearny wide receiver and free safety Darnay Scott certainly was a major loss.
"It was too bad several players, including Scott, decided not to play," said John Shacklett, coach of 3-A champion Morse and the 3-A All-Stars.
Said Meyer: "The kids who want to be here are here."
Meyer's big guns include Kearny lineman Aaron Mertens, Carlsbad kicker Dan Pulsipher and Oceanside's Butkus Tuitasi and West Hills' Joe Allan, both tackles.
Meyer and Shacklett said none of the players who will be attending Division I schools in the fall were kept from the game by their respective universities.
"No, it was mainly vacation and jobs that kept them out," Shacklett said.
According to Meyer, graduated seniors are allowed to play in two all-star games before they start their collegiate careers. That means athletes invited to participate in the Los Angeles vs. San Diego All-Star game, which San Diego has won the past three years and is slated for August, could play in both.
It was last summer that Shacklett, Meyer, Point Loma's Bennie Edens and Helix's Jim Arnaiz, all members of the Hall of Champions' High School Sports Assn., decided to organize a game that would profit high school athletics.
"That LA-San Diego game was primarily a money maker for the promoters," Meyer said. "The money never went back to San Diego programs. In this concept, the game will benefit the kids."
Although the first of its kind, all-star games have an interesting history in San Diego. They have been staged often, but were discontinued for various reasons.
The Carlsbad Rotary Club sponsored an East vs. West game made up of athletes from teams within the North County for approximately eight years in the late 1970s and early '80s. But lack of support from other Rotary clubs forced the game's demise.
An all-star game sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a brief success, but ceased operation when it couldn't find additional support. The North and South counties held a brief all-star rivalry, but it, too, lasted only a short time.
"We're hoping to make this an annual event," Shacklett said. "We hope we're blazing trails and that we can keep this thing going."
The 37 players on each team have practiced only 10 days, a stark contrast to the three weeks' preparation usually reserved for a regular season. For this reason, both coaches said they would keep game plans as simple and straightforward as possible.
"We have kids from 20 different programs out here," Meyer said. "Some are versed in using plays with numbers, some with names, some that go left to right, some right to left . . . So we'll use 'Sweep right and sweep left.' We can't make it any simpler than that."
Instead of exchanging game film, coaches verbally exchanged basic strategy. Since their on-field coaching styles have been well documented over the years, Meyer and Shacklett have a general idea of what they can expect from each other.
"We have a basic idea of what they'll do because they're Morse," Meyer said.
Shacklett said it has been a challenge "to get 36 kids moving in the same direction. We'll line up in a 3-4 defense and both use some zone and man-to-man. On offense, we'll probably use the I-formation, a single-back set, mix it up a little, but keep it simple."
Tickets for tonight's game, which starts at 7, are $6 for adults and $4 for children . . . Rather than the 12-minute quarters played in high school, the all-star players will play 15-minute quarters.
All-Star Football Rosters