MJC’s football stadium is a new venue for the game after many years at the University of the Pacific’s Stagg Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. and kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The game brings together the top senior football players from high schools in the Lions District 4-A1, covering the San Joaquin Valley and foothills. Players gather for a week of workouts and team-building — the North at Stagg High in Stockton and the South at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock — as they learn to work with players who have been their rivals over the past four years of high school football.
The North team has won seven of the last eight years to build on a 23-14-1 overall record in the series since the games started in 1974.
This year’s North team includes West High running back Patrick Thompson, winner of the 2011 John C. Kimball Award, and Wolf Pack teammate, defensive back Elisha Mitchell.
Chris Sampino is the first-ever Kimball player to make the all-star team. The linebacker has been with the Jaguars since its first year as a junior varsity squad in 2009.
Tracy High is represented by offensive lineman Pablo Ceja, a three-year varsity player for the Bulldogs and Tracy High’s Jake Longmire Blanket Award recipient.
Brian Gray of Lincoln High in Stockton will be the North team’s coach.
The South team’s coach, Rich Alkire of Beyer High of Modesto, is also from Tracy and a member of Tracy High’s Class of 1989. He started off as a ball boy with the Bulldog football teams coached by Wayne Schneider, longtime Bulldog coach, founder and coordinator of the Lions All-Star Game.
Alkire, 42, was quarterback of Tracy High’s 1987 Sac-Joaquin Section championship team, and also played quarterback for the 1988 Bulldog team that got as far as the section quarterfinals. He went on to coach at West and Tracy High schools, and for two years has been the head coach at Beyer High where the Patriots had been 1-9 in 2009, 4-6 in Alkire’s first year as coach, and 9-3 last year as the Patriots made it to the second round of the SJS Division II playoffs.
In the fall he will start as head coach of the Gregori Jaguars football team in Modesto.
39th Annual Lions All Star Football Game
WHEN: 7 p.m., Saturday, June 16
WHERE: Modesto Junior College, 435 College Ave., Modesto