Continuing their long legacy of supporting youth sports programs, the Chargers were a proud sponsor of the 58th annual Orange County All-Star Classic on Friday.
The Bolts' sponsorship helped Costa Mesa United save the summer sports tradition this season, which allows high school football standouts to compete in one final game before they kick off their collegiate careers. Former Chargers fullback Hank Bauer is a Classic alum.
With a generous $10,000 donation, the Bolts were able to assist with the production of Friday's game.
"The Chargers came in strong," said Ron Amburgey, Vice President of Costa Mesa United. "They supported us and (their support) is huge. This event was cancelled…so one of the first places we turned to was the Chargers. We were looking for their help in pulling this off and here we are. They're new to the community, and we're welcoming them with open arms. We love what they're doing with everybody."
Chargers tight end Sean McGrath and center Max Tuerk served as honorary captains. Defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi came out to show his support as well. General Manager Tom Telesco joined the North and South squads at midfield for the ceremonial coin toss before kickoff.
"I just love being a part of high school football, and I love the fact that the Chargers can be a part of this too," Telesco explained. "There's so much that football does for you as a kid growing up, so to have a chance for us to be a part of this game is tremendous."
"It's great!" mentioned McGrath. "I'm excited to watch these guys run around and play ball. Any time we get an opportunity to (be a part of) an event, I jump at it. To play on Friday night; these guys are so lucky. It goes too fast! But to be an honorary captain seals the deal."
Tuerk, an Orange County native didn't get a chance to appear in the game when he was in high school. However, he enjoyed returning to the stadium he had played in many times to be a part of one more Friday night lights game.
"It means a lot," Tuerk said. "Being from Orange County, it's always good to come home and watch this game and watch the kids compete."
Telesco had played in an all-star game when he was a graduating high school senior. He recalled so many memories from that game and admitted having his experience come full circle was extra special.
"This game really brings me back because I played in the same type of game when I was in Western New York as a senior,' Telesco added. "I remember everything from that game. I remember the practices all week. I remember my teammates, the coaches, the game. Those are memories I'll have forever. I always wanted to be a part of this and try to give back because I had such a tremendous time. It meant a lot to me."
The O.C. South squad edged out the O.C. North 28-6 giving the South a two-game lead in the series' 58-year history.
General Manager Tom Telesco, Max Tuerk, Sean McGrath and Tenny Palepoi took part in Orange County's summer sports tradition.