This is the week when the North and South squads would have been practicing for the 47th Annual Lions All Star Football Game, originally scheduled to be played Saturday night at Lincoln High in Stockton.
Because of COVID-19, the state of California and San Joaquin County Public Health Department have closed down all public events, canceling the 2020 all-star game.
The all-star game committee had selected 60 seniors for the North and South teams earlier this year. When the COVID-19 outbreak hit San Joaquin County in March, the annual banquet when the teams are announced was canceled, and it soon became clear that the longstanding football tradition would have to be canceled as well.
This week, the committee announced the selected teams and coaches, including players from four local high schools on the North roster.
West High’s Alfred Robinson was the Wolf Pack’s starting quarterback for two years. He is one of two quarterbacks on the North team, and doubles as a defensive back.
John Palmer played linebacker for the Tracy High Bulldogs as the team got as far as the quarterfinals in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 playoffs in his junior year and made the playoffs again in his senior year.
Offensive lineman Joseph Figueroa played for a Mountain House team that won the Western Athletic Conference title in his junior year, when he was an all-WAC first-team selection, and the Mustangs got as far as the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 quarterfinals.
During his senior year at Kimball High, Darren Jackson was part of a group of wide receivers that averaged 241.8 yards per game and led the Jaguars to their first appearance in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 playoffs. Jackson totaled 53 catches for 607 yards.
This year is the first time the all-star game has been canceled since its establishment in 1974 . Historically, the North team has gone 25-19-1. Last year’s 19-18 win at Alex G. Spanos Stadium was the North’s first victory since 2012, though the teams played to a 21-21 tie in 2014.
North and South teams of 30 players each are drawn from the eight counties in Lions International District 4-A1 : San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa.