The 19th annual Interhigh all-star football game will be played at Cardozo High School Saturday at 5 p.m. It marks the second consecutive year that the midsummer game has been played away from RFK Stadium.

Through 1985, the game had been played at RFK but it had become a financial disaster, according to coaches association head Frank Parks.

"We could no longer afford the price at RFK Stadium because of the lack of attendance," he said. "In the last five years we've lost money on every single game."

The East team will be coached by Ballou's Frank Young, the West by Coolidge Coach Sam Taylor. Both teams have been practicing for a week for the game, which, according to Parks, may be as important as any the young athletes ever play.

"The game gives all of the athletes an opportunity to put their talents on display," said Parks. "Because {the game} gives the athlete a chance to win himself a scholarship to college, it is important that they perform to the best of their abilities." Teams are made up of just-graduated students and the game is often considered a last-chance opportunity for those players who have yet to be offered a college scholarship.

In addition, there will be two awards given to the most valuable players. The Harold McLinton Memorial Scholarship Award, named after the Washington Redskins' 1970s middle linebacker, is to be used by the athlete to help with college tuition.

"It was important for us to make the break from RFK Stadium because the cost of us holding the game there was too much," said Roosevelt Coach James Tillerson. "We needed to make sure that we made money instead of losing it, because the money is supposed to help these kids out."

There also will be two scholarships given to cheerleaders who will be performing before, during and after the game. The cheerleaders' scholarships will be provided from grants by Coca-Cola.

The game itself is not the only highlight of a busy week for the athletes. There are photo sessions and other activities to make the days of being an all-star worth remembering.

There will be a luncheon to honor all the players, coaches and cheerleaders at noon Friday at the downtown Marriott hotel. Gary Clark of the Redskins will be a speaker.

Some of the key players for the West will be Cardozo running back Antonio McKenzie, Coolidge quarterback Mark McCutcheon and Wilson running back Melvin Pickett. The East will counter with Anacostia defensive back/running back James McGee, H.D. Woodson defensive back Marvin Williams and Ballou tight end Tre Everett, a 1986 All-Met. In all, 80 players will compete.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $3 at Spingarn, Ballou, Cardozo, Dunbar, Eastern and Coolidge. Admission is $4 at the gate.