Throughout his three-plus decades of owning the Chargers, Alex Spanos’ name became synonymous with both community and philanthropy.
Along with creating the Chargers Community Foundation and donating to countless organizations throughout the years, Spanos also left an indelible mark on the high school football landscape by helping save one of California’s longest-running prep all-star football games.
On Saturday, Dec. 15 the Alex Spanos All-Star Classic was played for the 29th time, giving high school seniors in San Diego one final opportunity to showcase their skills in front of friends and family before departing to college in the fall.
Although he passed away this past October, Spanos’ memory still resonates with those who knew him personally and those who simply knew the extent to which he was involved in the community alike.
“What he did for the high schools and what he sponsored for the high schools around San Diego County and what he did for us, the All-Star Game, it’s something that’ll live for a long time,” explained John Shacklett, legendary former football coach of Morse High School and current member of the San Diego High School Sports Association.
“The Spanos family is awesome for keeping this going because it’s just such a great experience for the kids,” Scott Longerbone, Head Coach of the South Squad and Steele Canyon High School said. “A lot of these all-star games that are happening now, they charge kids. I’ve got kids that can’t afford to pay for an all-star game. This has been all free for them, and they’re getting as good or better an experience and they’re not paying a dime for it. Good for the Spanos family and good for the Chargers organization…. For Alex Spanos to (save the game) and then for the family to continue doing it now, I just think it’s awesome. I hope they know how much it means to the kids. It has been a really, really great event for them.”
Although he didn’t play in the game in high school, Scott Quessenberry remembers attending it when his older brother, David, was part of the event. Quessenberry served as an honorary captain on Saturday and reflected on how his life came full-circle while watching the North defeat the South, 14-7.
“I actually know a lot of people that played in this game,” Quessenberry said. “My brother played in this game, so it’s cool to be here and be looking at it in a whole different perspective. It’s awesome coming out here and there’s great talent out here. Football’s alive and well in San Diego. Who knows, one of these kids might be playing for the Chargers in a couple years.”
Carrying on the Spanos legacy, the Chargers also helped save the Orange County North vs. South All-Star Classic in 2017. The 60th playing of this high school all-star institution, and the third with Chargers’ sponsorship, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College.
Browse through the top photos from the Chargers' 29th Annual Alex Spanos All-Star Classic at Mesa College on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018.