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Produced by Almaden Valley Rotary Club

Wedemeyer All-Star Game has special meaning for both head coaches

Game is Saturday at Levi's Stadium
By John Reid

Saturday's 42nd annual Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game has special meaning to the two head coaches. >p>The South's Mark Krail is the head coach at Los Gatos High School where Wedemeyer coached nine seasons from 1977 to 1985, the majority of his tenure spent while battling ALS. Wedemeyer ultimately succumbed to the disease in June of 2010.

"I got to know Charlie Wedemeyer over the years," Krail said. "His wife Lucy, comes to all our games. I've coached the game three times and serve on the Rotary Committee."

The North's Eric Luescher, head coach at his alma mater, Silver Creek ('86), played in the 1986 Wedemeyer game. Luescher's brother, Chris, played in the Wedemeyer game representing Live Oak, class of '89, and Eric Luescher's son, Trevor, played in the all-star football classic as well.

The South leads the series 21-17 with three ties, having won last year's contest 14-6.

"I was at last year's game," Krail said. "It was the first time they played in Levi's Stadium.

There was a lot of energy inside the place. The crowd was into it. It's fun for the players, who can look back years from now and say they played on that field."

One of Krail's assistants is Saratoga football coach Tim Lugo, who specializes in the spread offense. Krail plans on giving his array of quarterbacks Matty Adamkiewicz of Christopher, Erik Ornduff of Live Oak, Sam Serra of Archbishop Mitty and Anthony Posetti of Cupertino equal time.

"I usually like to see how they want to do it, so we'll discuss it with them," Krail said.

The South has, arguably, the best running back in the Central Coast Section in Oak Grove's Rasaan Fontenette, who rushed for a CGS-best 2,538 yards and 29 touchdowns last fall. Other top backs for the South include Derek Baurle, a hard-nosed runner out of Mitty, and Alex Hawks of Saratoga.

"We'll throw the ball around because it's an all-star game and we want to get the crowd going," Krail said. "But we have some great backs who are going to be a big part of the offense."

Adamkiewicz will have his favorite target, P.J. Reichert, available at wide receiver. Reichert, who had 76 receptions last fall, has been opening eyes in practice, Krail said.

Another player who has stood out in the past several days has been Oak Grove offensive lineman Joel Gomez and two-way lineman Jacob Martinez of Mitty.

The South will be strong at linebacker with Colt Doughty of Los Gatos and Ryan Quadros of Live Oak, who will also play some offensive guard.

"I may be biased, but Doughty has really been running around," Krail said. "Quadros has really impressed me."

Krail has also been impressed with the players' attitudes.

"We decided we need some help on our offensive line because of some injuries," Krail said. "I asked some players if they would be willing to play offensive line and they were super flexible. They are willing to do whatever to compete, even though they may have been stars on their high school team."

On the line front, the strength of the North could be in the defensive line with Tafua Mataele of Milpitas and King Malauulu of Silver Creek.

Mountain View defensive end Noah Kjos has drawn raves from Luescher, while St. Francis defensive end Adam Poltrack is a one-man wrecking crew.

"Adam has batted down a few passes in practice," Luescher said.

St. Francis linebacker Tommy MacDevitt is one of the best backers in the section, but he may be asked to do more pass coverage than he is used to because of the spread offense of the South. MacDevitt is an excellent pass rusher.

Vincent Fernandez, the lone player from Bellarmine in the game, has caught the attention of Luescher, who has inserted Fernandez at safety. Jordan Hendy of Fremont will see action at wide receiver and cornerback. Damen Evans of Yerba Buena has shined at corner for the North.

Ryan Moles of St. Francis anchors the North's offensive line.

"All the guys on defense who have gone against Moles said he's a tough stud," Luescher said.

Luescher vows to run the pro set on offense, with some spread mixed in. Piedmont Hills quarterback Marcus Romero led the CCS in passing last fall, throwing for 3,176 yards and 28 touchdowns. Jerome Holloway of Homestead will play some quarterback as well as wideout for the North. Eduardo Andrade of Wilcox is a dual threat runner/passer. Quarterback Oliver Svirsky of Milpitas has missed some practices because of a junior college commitment, but should play.

"We'll rotate the quarterbacks the first three quarters," Luescher said. "Who plays the fourth quarter is determined by the coaches."

Patrick Vargas of Los Altos, who has speed and power, has looked good at running back. Wilcox fullback Mani Turituri, a bruising runner, should play on both sides of the ball, The North has one of the more underrated wide receivers in CCS in Paul Majchrowicz of The King's Academy.

"Usually, the game is very defensive because you have only 10 days to get an offense together," Luescher said. "It could come down to the return game."

"One of the things I like about the game is that rivals come together as teammates," Krail said. "We have Mitty guys and Valley Christian guys playing together. That's great."