Prep football standouts from across Southern California will get an opportunity to play one final game in front of friends and family before heading off to college in the 28th Annual Alex Spanos All-Star Classic on Jan. 20 at San Diego Mesa College and the 59th Annual Orange County All-Star Classic at Orange Coast College on Jan. 27.
"Youth and high school football are a huge priority for our family and an incredibly important component of Chargers community relations," said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. "We could not be happier to once again team up with both the San Diego High School Sports Association and Costa Mesa United to continue the tradition of these two great all-star games."
The 28th Annual Alex Spanos All-Star Classic will be played this Saturday, Jan. 20 as top high school football players from across San Diego County square off in one of California's premier high school all-star football games. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. at San Diego Mesa College Stadium.
Chargers owner Alex Spanos began support of the annual classic more than two decades ago when its future was in jeopardy. Over the years, the list of Spanos All-Star Classic alumni who have gone on to play in the National Football League includes former Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards (Chula Vista High), former Buccaneers and Broncos safety John Lynch (Torrey Pines High) and former Cowboys and Rams defensive tackle La' Roi Glover (Point Loma High).
The North squad in this year's edition will be coached by Joe Meyer from Rancho Buena Vista High School. Running back Damon Wigand, who rushed for 1,050 yards and scored 12 touchdowns for the Mission Hills Grizzlies in 2017, and versatile running back/wide receiver Tristan Stacy from Ramona High School are among the prep stars who will represent the North.
The South squad will be coached by John Joyner from Mater Dei Catholic High School and features Otay Ranch High School linebacker Darian Williams and Point Loma High School wide receiver Austin Haines.
Overall, the North team holds an ever-so-slight 12-11 advantage since the game went to its current North-South format. Tickets for the game are available at the gate and are $10 for adults and $5 for children. All proceeds go to support the High School Sports Association of San Diego.
The 59th Annual Orange County All-Star Classic, formally known as the Brea Lions Club North vs. South All-Star Game, is a long-standing tradition dating back to 1959. Held the Saturday after the Spanos All-Star Classic, the game will kick off at 7pm on Jan. 27 at LeBard Stadium on the campus of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
This is the second year the Chargers will be part of the annual showcase. In 2017, the Chargers and Costa Mesa United teamed up to save the event after it too was in danger of being cancelled.
This year, legendary Mission Viejo High School Coach Bob Johnson will perform the ceremonial coin toss to kick off the game. Johnson, the winningest high school football coach in Orange County history, has 342 career coaching victories while coaching at Mission Viejo, El Toro and Los Amigos. He's won eight Southern Section championships, including five at Mission Viejo, where he arrived in 1999.
El Modena High School's Matt Mitchell will coach the North in the game's 59th edition while San Clemente High's Jaime Ortiz will lead the South. After more than a half century of games, the North and South are currently deadlocked at 27-27-4 in the all-time series.
Defensive tackleNathan Logoleo from Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana), named 2017 Defensive Player of the Year by the Orange County Register, and Sunny Hills High School running back Alex Jung, who rushed for 2632 yards in 2017, are among the North team standouts.
Capistrano Valley High School defensive end Zach Ritner and El Toro High School quarterback Cooper Jones, the winner of the Chargers 1st Annual High School Quarterback Skills Challenge, headline the South team.
The list of Classic alums who have gone on to play in the National Football League includes former Chargers running back Hank Bauer(Magnolia High), former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (Huntington Beach High), former Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills quarterback Rob Johnson (El Toro High) and former Chiefs and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback John Huarte (Santa Ana Mater Dei).
Tickets for the game can be purchased at Chargers.com for $10 or at the gate for $12. All proceeds support Costa Mesa United, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of sports fields, facilities and equipment throughout Costa Mesa.