Edward Lee and Anthony Bess are out to prove a point. Neither of the All-Met football players from Interhigh West League runners-up Wilson was offered a college scholarship following the Tigers' most successful season in more than a decade.
With that in mind, Lee and Bess, along with 75 other high school seniors, have braved the 90-degrees-plus temperatures the past two weeks to prepare for the ninth annual D.C. Coaches' All-Star Game Friday at RFK stadium at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $3 with proceeds going toward college scholarship.
Lee a vicious hitter admits his 6-foot-8 195-pound frame is not ideally suited for a college tackle position but says he's "quick enough and would make a good linebacker for some school.
"I guess you can say I'm playing for a scholarship. I did get a few small offers. Some of them my parents didn't like. Some I didn't like. I have a high grade average so getting in is no problem."
Bess, on the other hand, used school as his private playground his sophomore and junior years when not picking off enemy passes from his safety position. Consequently, the 6-3, 18-pounder had poor grades.
"I have no ecuses," said Bess. I didn't have the average to ge many places. But I got it together this year and raised my average. That's one reason I'm looking forward to this game. I hope someone will see me and give me a shot."
In each of the past eight years, some overlooked athlete has been impressive enough to earn a shot. Many signed grants immediately following the game.
"If one or two guys sign as a result of the game, then it's worthwile," said Interhigh champion Roosevelt coach Jim Tillerson, who will coach the West All-Stars.
"Lee, Bess, there's a lot of talent out there. All of them can play and it's a tribute to them, not the coaches, that they can come together in a short time like this."
Tillerson won the right to coach since his team took the West Division title last year. Frank Parks, who coached Spingarn to the East Division crown,its first title in 11 years, will handle the East.
"This is the community's chance to come out and support their kids," said Parks. "The scouts are coming here to sign players and we have them. Many have signed already but we want all of them to get a chance to go to school."
Both coaches have promised a wide-open game. Only a 43 defense can be used and quarters will be extended from the regular 12 minutes to 15.
The extra minutes can be a blessing for it gives players that much more time to impress the scouts.
One of the Interhigh's finest receivers. Melvin Petty of Anacostia, is also playing for an offer.
The 6-3, 210-pound tight end has deemed this game as his "last chance."
"We didn't win last year so you don't get seen by many people," said Petty, who caught 32 passes for six touchdowns his junior and senior seasons. "I know I'll go to school in the fall. Right's now it's just a question of which one and how big a program it has. I know I've waited to play in this game for a long time. But then, so has everybody."