Both coaches agree that defense should be the deciding factor in today's 19th annual D.C. Coaches Association high school all-star football game. The game, matching teams from the Interhigh League's East and West divisions, kicks off at 5 p.m. at Cardozo High School.

East Coach Frank Young and West Coach Sam Taylor agree that both teams' offenses will be limited because of the lack of practice time.

"It's hard to try and get everyone {on offense} to do the right things when there is such a short period of time to practice," said Taylor, who coached Coolidge to a 9-1 record and the West Division and Interhigh titles last season. "We will try and do as much as possible on defense to confuse them. In fact, I've spent most of the time working on our offense because it is much easier to set up your defense in a shorter period of time."

The West will try to use its strength and size. Seven of the West players weigh more than 240 pounds, and five of those linemen weigh more than 270. The West also has two players on the team weighing more than 300 pounds, center Dennis Butler of Roosevelt (6 feet 1, 325) and guard Sean Lindsey (6-0, 304).

The East's biggest player is Spingarn tackle Arthur Paul (6-0, 275), so the team plans on relying on its speed.

Anacostia's James McGee (defensive back/running back) and Ballou's Darrin Sumpkins (defensive back) and Anthony Parker (quarterback/running back) are capable of running at least a 4.5 40-yard dash.

"There isn't any doubt that we should win this game," said McGee.