James Contes is a good student with plenty of academic college options, but nothing yet for football.
The Corona del Sol running back and many other high school peers will get a final chance to show their worth in the Canyon-Coast Classic All-Star Game against elite Southern California high school competition on Monday at 1:30 p.m. at Riverside Community College in Riverside, Calif.
This game has generally been played in the summer, long after National Letter of Intent Signing Day. The coaches moved it up to get unsigned players a final look and to get out of the heat, but it didn’t come without headaches.
Several Arizona high school coaches were scheduled to lead the team, but an Arizona Interscholastic Association bylaw forbids high school coaches to be involved when All-Star games are conducted during the school year.
To avoid any sanctions, junior college coaches are now taking over and will be coaching the Arizona standouts.
“I don’t know all the rules,” Corona del Sol coach Tom Joseph said. “Here’s what I always say: I’m doing this for kids. I’m not doing this to feed my ego. We just want to do what’s best for the kids.”
Although the coaching situation has been ironed out for the moment, there have still been problems. Since schools can’t be involved, for instance, the players can only use equipment they have bought themselves.
However, despite the hurdles, the local standouts are in California now and prepared to hit the gridiron in a high school setting one final time.
Last season, former Hamilton defensive tackle Jaxon Hood performed so well in practices and in the Semper Fi All-American Game that he picked up late scholarship offers from Arizona and Arizona State.
For some of the players involved, any offer would be welcomed.
“It’s definitely like a showcase,” Contes said. “You’re playing with a lot of kids who have a good amount of skill instead of your high school team where anyone can make it. It’s a good game to step it up.”
Name School Pos.
Kyle Woolard Desert Edge DB/RB
Drake Danielson Queen Creek DL
Richard Becerra Marcos de Niza OL
Charlie Renfree Brophy OL
Parker Zellers Notre Dame DL
Nick Brown Florence WR/RB
Tyler Eggers Hamilton WR
Landry Payne Mtn. Pointe LB/DB
Tyler Williams Ironwood Ridge DB/QB
Robert Coleman Ironwood Ridge OL
Devon Brunetti Saguaro OL
Garette Craig Mtn. Pointe DB/RB
Kolby Gregory Mtn. Ridge K
Seivion Morris Westview DB/RB
Antonio Diggs Millennium LB
Andrew Curtis Brophy LB
Antonio Zepeda Camelback DL/TE
Robert Relf Brophy LB
A.J. Thigpen Hamilton QB/P
Billy Nichols Pinnacle OL
Patrick Johnson Paradise Valley OL
Brandon Murphy Liberty WR
Kani Benoit Thunderbird RB
R.J. Tui Desert Edge DL
Trevor Osborne Northwest Christian DB/WR
Ardis Palmer Westview DL/TE
Tyler Rogers Liberty QB/P
Travonn White Mtn. Pointe DB
Frank Ogas Morenci DL
Cody King Desert Ridge OL
James Contes Corona del Sol RB