Imperial, Central and Palo Verde players represent Imperial Valley in All-Star battle
SAN DIEGO, Calif., (KYMA, KECY) - Early on in the prep football regular season, many players across southern California received invitations to participate in one of San Diego's premiere events to showcase high school athletes.
Among them were some of the best playmakers inside the Imperial Valley.
While some of the athletes got a chance in the Spanos All-Star game sponsored by the Los Angeles Chargers just a few weeks earlier, the SDFNL Showcase All-Star game opened up even more chances to be seen.
The goal of the game to showcase football players looking to be seen and potentially scouted, opening doors to the college level.
The 9th Annual event has opened a path for recruiting, landing over 1,000 scholarships in the nine years it has been running - pitting the Blue Starz against the Red Starz.
Both sides being represented by Imperial Valley players in the 2022 edition - the Red Starz even being coached by David Shaw and the Imperial Tigers staff. The Palo Verde staff getting a little action with their players on each side, as well.
Seth Shaw (Imperial)
Zach Ray (Imperial)
Devin Meza (Imperial)
Markus Macon (Palo Verde)
Gavin Marini (Central)
Nicolas Jimenez (Central
Carlos Gomez (Palo Verde)
Ian Maciel (Palo Verde)
Jonathan Crowe (Palo Verde)
Aiden Shields (Imperial)
In the end, it was the Blue Starz winning 48-7, opening the scoring in the final minutes with two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
One of those pick-sixes at the hands of Palo Verde Yellow Jackets - Ian Maciel bringing down the quarterback who flipped it forward, right into the chest of Jonathan Crowe who returned it 56-yards back to the house for a touchdown.
Maciel returning the favor after the two hooked up for another turnover earlier in the game. Crowe forced a strip-sack with the ball being recovered by Maciel.
Many other players on each side had some impact on the game in some shape or form. Most of all, Devin Meza for the Red Starz - bringing home the team MVP for his play on defense, including an interception in the endzone.
"It was very thrilling, just to bring that trophy home nit just for me but for my family. They were really proud," said Devin Meza. "It shows we can play football down here too. We take it very seriously and just to represent not just for ourselves, but for the community. That's what it's all about."
Coach David Shaw adding to that same sentiment after the "Valley kids'" performances, showing they can play right at the same level as some of the best in San Diego County.
"It just proves that all the coaches in the Valley are doing something special down here," said Shaw. "We're getting them ready to play and getting them ready for that next level, as well."