PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

June 14, 2013

Schoolboy football All-Stars clash tonight at Lamar

BEAUMONT —  BEAUMONT — East meets West once again on Saturday, as all-star football players from around the area square off in the fourth annual Southeast Texas Coaches Association All-Star football game. The two squads tangle at 7 p.m. at Lamar’s Provost-Umphrey Stadium.

 The East side will need to bounce back from a 14-13 loss last season to the West team in a game that saw former Beaumont Ozen quarterback David “Trey” Green led the West to the victory. The two sides have traded victories in the past three years, with the East team winning 20-17 in 2011 and the West winning 14-10 in 2010.

 Plenty of area faces dot the rosters for each side, giving local players one last chance to wear their high school uniforms.

 “I’m proud to represent the community and the school,” Port Arthur Memorial defensive tackle Walter Oliver said. “We get to show how hard we worked and show we deserve to be here. It’s going to be fun, basically.”

 Oliver and teammate Gregorie Johnson are both members of the East squad, along with Port Neches-Groves lineman Justin Reasons and Nederland’s Koby Couron, Seth Barrow and Zach Taylor.

 Couron will be playing in Provost-Umphrey Stadium one last time as a high schooler, though he played multiple games there for Nederland in the past few years. He’ll continue that string after signing to play football for the Cardinals in the fall. He’ll be the third straight Nederland player headed to Lamar that has participated in the game, joining 2011’s Dionte Forney and 2012’s Corbin Carr.

 “I’ve been lucky through high school, we’ve played here four or five times already,” Couron said. “I love the turf. It’s a nice stadium. I’m just glad I get one more chance to play with a gold helmet on, really.”

 Last year, then-head coach Jeff Mathews of Vidor had a problem with his roster — all the quarterbacks dropped out of the game. This year, East head coach Bobby McGallion of Silsbee won’t have that problem.

 He’ll have three very good signal callers at his disposal in the game, including Vidor’s Montana Quirante, who swept the Willie Ray Smith Offensive and Defensive awards this year, West Orange-Stark three-year starter Jimmy Salter and Beaumont Central’s Robert Mitchell.

 Mitchell and Quirante are both familiar to the PN-G, Memorial and Nederland contingent. In fact, Barrow has even caught a pass off of him in the past.

 “I’ve caught one pass off Robert Mitchell,” Barrow said. “It ended up being an interception. I have some experience catching balls from him. I’ve been watching him throw. He’s a dang good quarterback. He’s got a rocket arm. Our QB Carson (Raines) had a very good arm. Robert’s comes in there with a little bit more zip, though.”

 Many players, like Reasons (SFA), Oliver (Morgan State), Couron and Johnson (Missouri Valley), will go on to play college football in the fall. Others, like Barrow, might be strapping on the football pads for the last time.

 That’s what makes this game special, giving players one last chance to play against former rivals and enjoy the game.

 “It’ll be fun,” Barrow said. “I was really excited about it. After the Georgetown game (when Nederland lost in the state quarterfinals) when I got knocked out of the game with an injury, I thought that was the last football game I’d ever play. I’m not very big, so I’m not getting a football scholarship anywhere.

 “It should be fun. Football is always competitive. I’ve been meeting a lot of the guys out here. They want to compete, but they also want to have fun. That’s what this game is all about.”

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