YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

It's the Last Hurrah for Standout Players From Area Schools : Football: Twenty-nine San Gabriel high schools will have former players competing in the Hall of Fame game.


GLENDORA — Bob Rau knows that all-star games, by their very nature, can bring out the best and worst in athletes.

Participants are selected for the physical skills and prowess that make them better than their peers. The opportunities for spectacular play in an all-star setting are numerous.

But Rau, who has been part of several football all-star coaching staffs, has seen more than one team sabotaged by players with egos even larger than their talent.

That does not figure to happen Friday night when Rau leads the West team against Coach Lou Farrar and the East in the 14th annual Hall of Fame football all-star game at Citrus College.

The event, sponsored in part by the Pasadena-San Gabriel Valley chapter of the National Football Foundation, features 79 recently graduated seniors. Fifty-nine of the players are from 29 San Gabriel Valley high schools.

The East, which has won four games in a row, leads the series, 8-3-2.

Rau guided Duarte to the Mission Valley League title, an unbeaten regular season and the Division VI championship game in 1992. In the fall, he begins a new teaching and coaching assignment at Buena Park High.

Rau said the West is ready to regain its winning ways.

"I've never been with a group of all-stars that has melded together like this one," Rau said. "There are no egos, just a lot of kids having a whole lot of fun."

Farrar, who guided Charter Oak to a league championship and unbeaten regular season before losing to Valencia in the playoffs, said he also has a close-knit group.

"For some of these players, it's just like a rookie going to NFL camp," Farrar said. "They're not the (most valuable player), they're just one of the team."

Last year, the East won, 7-6, marking the 11th time in 13 years that the game was decided by less than a touchdown.

This year's game features several skilled offensive players that could make it a high-scoring contest. In addition, kickoffs will be from the 35-yard line to enhance return possibilities. The game figures to remain competitive because a team trailing by more than nine points will have the option to kickoff or receive after scoring a touchdown.

The West will run the option attack that helped Duarte to its best season in school history. Duarte's Greg Ainsworth and Muir's Andy Colbert, who has accepted a scholarship to UCLA, will split time at quarterback.

"These guys are excellent option quarterbacks," Rau said. "But this is an all-star game, so we'll be putting the ball in the air to balance things out."

Charles Miles of Muir, who will attend Arizona in the fall, will probably start in one of the backfield positions with San Marino's Steve Park and Muir's Michael Perry as the wide receivers.

Greg Brinson of Monrovia will be the starting tight end on an offensive line that will also include USC-bound Phelan Pounds of Pasadena, Karl Hubmann of San Marino, Swain Moman of Pasadena and Brian Dennis of San Marino.

Muir's Derrick Norman, who will attend San Diego State in the fall, is a strong safety for the West. Nathaniel Jacquet of Duarte and Maurice Simpson of Muir will also be in the secondary.

South Pasadena linebacker Doug Withers, Muir lineman Jonathan Mosley and Duarte lineman Nakia Ware will also start on defense for the West.

The East suffered a setback last week when running back Mike Harris of Charter Oak was knocked out of the game because he strained knee ligaments during practice.

The East, however, still has a breakaway threat in Lamonte Adams of Nogales. Jesse Jacobs of Charter Oak and Joe Phears of Pomona will share time at quarterback for an offense that also includes Workman wide receiver Yo Yamamoto, Workman tight end Dan Carrington and Charter Oak flanker Phil Hoagland.

Jon Himebauch of Damien, Ben Meza of Wilson and Chris Rubio and Chris Marlow of Charter Oak are among the East's offensive lineman.

The East defense features linemen Rob Lane of Charter Oak, Sefo Petero of Nogales and Russ Taylor of Rowland. Los Altos' Matt Merrill anchors a linebacker corps that also includes Jason Hooks of Claremont and Molech Blythe of Garey. James Higgins of Baldwin Park and Wardell Crutchfield of Pomona are in the secondary.

"We're supposed to be out there putting on a show," Farrar said. "That's what we're going to try and do."

Los Angeles Times Articles