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Produced by Almaden Valley Rotary Club

Spirited game honors coach

By Alex Pavlovic

The 36th annual Charlie Wedemeyer All-Star Football Game featured plenty of fireworks, just the way the longtime Los Gatos coach would have liked it.

Wedemeyer, who passed away June 3 after a lengthy battle with ALS, was honored during halftime of the South's 27-24 victory over the North on Wednesday night at Spartan Stadium.

The All-Stars and members of the Army presented Lucy Wedemeyer, Charlie's wife of 44 years, with a commemorative No. 1 jersey during the ceremony, which was retired in honor of Charlie.

"It was pretty special to see the look on Lucy's face," South lineman Sean Dalton said. "I think this game really did a lot to honor Charlie."

Just as her late husband always did, Lucy greeted every player with a handshake before the game. Many of the players stopped to give Lucy a hug, and several involved Charlie's grandchildren in the handshake line.

Charlie's son, Kale, encouraged those in attendance to follow Charlie's fighting example during a halftime speech, and the All-Stars did just that throughout 60 minutes of spirited football.

"Charlie wouldn't have wanted it any other way," North quarterback Kyle Miller said. "There was no easy way out of this one."

South dual-threat quarterback Josh McCain was the star among stars, throwing for two touchdowns and catching a third.

McCain, the game's MVP, threw for 68 yards and rushed for 19 more on the South's first possession, a 12-play, 78-yard drive that resulted in a 10-yard touchdown strike from McCain to Valley Christian's James Yoder.

The Piedmont Hills star's second touchdown throw was even more impressive. After the South fell behind while he was out of the game, McCain returned to hit Leland's Ryan Smith on a 16-yard throw across his body.

"I used to cringe when I had to call the defense and try to figure out how to stop him," South coach Mike Carrozzo said of McCain. "He made my job easy tonight."

McCain and Smith hooked up again late in the fourth, when Smith made an acrobatic catch on a 42-yard McCain throw down the sideline. The play set up Dylan Frechetti's 35-yard field goal, which proved to be the game-winner.

St. Francis' Miller scored a first-half rushing touchdown and led a long scoring drive that tied the game in the third quarter.

After the South jumped ahead on Trevor Luescher's 11-yard touchdown pass to McCain, Miller found Los Gatos' Andrew Berg from 6 yards out to tie the score at 24.

Berg had a huge night, hauling in five balls for 201 yards.

Andrew Hill's Ronnie Isles sealed the win with a 9-yard gain on a reverse with just under two minutes remaining.

Willow Glen's Dan Winter and Independence's Tadro Labitad combined for a crushing sack that stalled the North's final drive of the game.

North defensive back Maceo Parks had a boisterous cheering section that repeatedly yelled "don't go to that side" when Parks was on the field. The South quarterbacks didn't get the message.

Parks ended two first-half South drives with interceptions on deep balls. The Gunn standout's second pick gave the North the ball at its own 15, and Tim Vanneman made quick work of the long field.

Vanneman, Los Altos' quarterback, hit Berg for an 85-yard strike on the next play that put the North on top 14-10 midway through the second quarter.

Twenty-three years after his father, Moon, represented the South, Oak Grove linebacker Paul Schwenke came up with a big fumble recovery for the South defense.