Will the best of the West be able to stop Interhigh champion H.D. Woodson? That's a question to be answered at the 15th annual D.C. All-Star football game tonight at 8 at RFK Stadium.
When the two teams representing the city's best high school senior football talent take the field, there will be 10 Woodson Warriors in the East's starting offensive and four on the starting defense.
In the West camp, Coolidge Coach Chris Bullock and his players are not forgetting this is an all-star game, but the Woodson 'mystique' has not been far from their minds.
"It's an added incentive," said Bullock.
"I guess you could call it revenge," said Coolidge fullback Ronnie Hawkins, whose team lost to Woodson in the city championship last November.
"They proved they were the best . . . But now we have a group of players who are the best the West has to offer and we're going to do all we can to stop them."
"I want to make this a fun type of game," Bullock said. "I'm going to ad-lib and stay away from a conservative approach, just take what they give us. It'll give the guys a chance to show what they can do. It's their game."
The West will be led by three of the Interhigh's top quarterbacks: Cardozo's Jonathon Carpenter, who will start; Wilson's Kevin Kane, who will double as kicker; and McKinley's Jeff Washington.
Bullock wants to use wide receivers Gregory Lewis of Cardozo and James Royal of Coolidge as the main deep threats. The starting backfield will also be from Coolidge, Hawkins and Sherman Jacobs.
Jones will be joined in the East backfield by all-America teammate Nathaniel Cary and Derrick Telesford and will be aided by outstanding receivers Herbert White and Rodney Gould.
"I've got 10 of my own players in the (offensive) lineup, but let me tell you something about Telesford--he can run. We're going to put the ball in his hands all game and let him go to work," said East Coach Bob Headen.
The rules say defenses must play a 4-3 and that no blitzing is allowed.
With Woodson players dominating the East offense, the West defense seems to be at a further disadvantage.
The Warriors offensive line averages about 240 pounds, led by Anthony Lyde, at 290.
But the West, with spirited players like Wilson's linebacker Darrell Miller, Dunbar's Keith Bland and Coolidge's John Jeffro, has not been intimidated by the talk.
"Yes, this is a 'prove-me' game," said Miller, an honorable mention all-America.
"They say they're going to pop 40 points on us, but we've got some pride, too. They have the size, but us little guys on the West are going to show that size doesn't make a difference when you're out there on the field."