Good Sports: City-County Football All-Star Game

June 22, 2013 12:49:38 AM PDT
Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson is famously attributed with referring to football offensive and defensive lineman as "Big Uglies."

But their production and importance to a team is anything but an eyesore.

"They're lineman so they don't fame that we do but we just got to talk to them and joke around," said Fowler Wide Receiver Hugo Martinez. "They're important too. They make us look good."

Rich Hammond will lead the City squad against the County team on his home turf at Lamonica Stadium Friday night.

"They make the difference in the winning and losing part too," said Coach Hammond. "People don't understand that. It's amazing how most human beings can move and how big some guys are and it's really just a neat deal to see."

These guys are the unsung heroes in a game where flash and pizazz often dominate the highlights and skill players get most if not all the credit.

"We don't get the most glory, but we do it for team," said Immanuel Lineman Ethan Hoff. "Team player - That's what the line is all about."

"It's a lot of fun getting to meet new people and play with and get together with new coaches," said Central Lineman Marcus Ponce.

"Not at all. We gel really well," said Buchanan Lineman Rajaee Jordan. "Just like any o-line should. It's a lot of guys are easy to get along with."

For the city and county lineman they're okay with that. What makes this game unique is that it's an all-star game. San Joaquin Memorial grad Jaylen Ruiz is headed to Fresno City and says putting on the pads after months away from the football field is nice.

"It's a funny feeling, I don't know because you guys are kind of like enemies during the game," said Ruiz. "All of a sudden you guys are on the same team. I kind of have mixed feelings. Kind of."

For some of the seniors it will be the last time they put on a uniform and walk on a football field. So this game is more than an exhibition.


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