A college football legend kicked off the festivities Saturday night at Orange Coast College.
John Huarte, a former Mater Dei High player and 1964 Heisman Trophy winner out of Notre Dame, served as an honorary captain for the Orange County North vs. South All-Star Classic.
Five local players shared the field with him, competing for the South in a 16-7 victory over the North.
Edison inside linebacker Luke Hoggard, Huntington Beach two-way athletes Jeremiah Flanagan and Arick McLawyer, Fountain Valley wide receiver Kishaun Sykes and Ocean View free safety Kermel Anwell saw action.
McLawyer started at slot receiver, going to work on the second drive. He first snared two bubble screens for 13 yards to move the chains. He then found himself all alone in the corner of the end zone, catching a 27-yard strike for a 7-0 lead.
The Oiler finished with six catches for 47 yards and the touchdown. He endured an ankle injury during his senior season, but still toted the rock 145 times for 817 yards and six scores.
His efforts have earned him scholarship offers from the likes of Hawaii, San Jose State and UNLV — among others.
Hoggard and Flanagan saw starter snaps on defense — the former at middle linebacker and the latter at cornerback.
Hoggard, a future Penn Quaker, promptly chased down North quarterback Anthony Munoz to the sideline for a stop. He represented the Chargers well, tallying four total tackles on the night.
Flanagan mustered two stops. On the year, he totaled 27 tackles, 11 passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
On offense, he added 35 catches for 718 yards and 13 touchdowns. The first-teamer out of the Sunset League reports interest from USC and Washington State, as well as an offer from UTEP.
Anwell also earned first-team snaps at safety. The Pac 4 Defensive MVP managed one tackle on special teams in the first half.
The heart of the league champion Seahawks’ defense, the 5-foot-9, 175-pounder plans to major in criminal justice at a local community college.
South head coach Sean Embree of Santa Margarita High utilized Sykes in a variety of packages. On fourth-and-one in the red zone, he lined up to the left of quarterback James Mott (St. Margaret’s). A lineman false started, forcing a play change.
The Fountain Valley Baron hit the field for the same formation in the second quarter, and faked a handoff on a read option. He made the box score after downing a returner for a special teams stop to start the second half.
He also carried once for a gain of a yard late in the fourth quarter.
A first-teamer in the Sunset League, Sykes plans to play for the Golden West Rustlers next fall.
Edison linebacker Cameron Eden was selected for the game, but did not suit up since he was under the weather, according to Hoggard.
The Sunset League named him its linebacker of the year the last two seasons. He was tied for second on the team with 95 tackles. He also picked off a pass and blocked a field goal.