The Prince George's Coaches Association is making final preparations to stage a December all-star high school football game for seniors, according to association vice president Ed Shields. The game is part of an increased effort by coaches to showcase the talents of county players and give them exposure to college recruiters.
The game, which does not yet have a name, will be played Dec. 4 at Friendly's Crawford-Knode Stadium. The top seniors from the county's 20 public high schools will be divided into two teams: Bladensburg, Bowie, DuVal, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fairmont Heights, High Point, Largo, Laurel, Northwestern and Parkdale will comprise the North team; Central, Crossland, Douglass, Forestville, Friendly, Gwynn Park, Oxon Hill, Potomac, Suitland and Surrattsville will make up the South team.
Parkdale's Bob Johnson will coach the North team, and Oxon Hill's Cliff Haskins will coach the South team.
Shields, the football coach at Northwestern High, said coaches from each school will nominate players from their team and the all-star coaches will make final selections.
"Hopefully that will take some of the politics out of it," Shields said.
Shields said the goal is for each school to be represented by an average of four players.
Owen Johnson, supervisor of athletics for the school system, said he is encouraged that the coaches association was able to put the game together.
"Any time we can do things for young people, it is a positive event," Johnson said. "I also think that when coaches can come together that are perceived as adversaries, it is a good thing. . . . It does tremendous things for self-esteem for the individual schools and participants and community as a whole. It is just a positive thing. I support it."
Shields said the coaches association is reviewing final details of the game with the chief educational administrators from each school, particularly long-range plans for the game.
Shields said the association is attempting to secure sponsorships for the game, but that no deals have been reached. Eventually, the coaches association would like to attract enough revenue so that it can provide college scholarships for some players, Shields said.