"Just give me 10 days of dedication and you'll get a win."

That simple formula is the hallmark of Eddie Martin, offensive coordinator for the West squad that will go up against the East in the Interhigh all-star football game 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eastern High School.

For East Coach Horace Fleming, key roles will be played by four of his Wilson Tigers. The first is Melvin Tuten, a huge tight end who can catch passes and block well. Tuten is a 6-foot-8 receiver -- heading to Syracuse in the fall -- who was chosen by Fleming as the offensive MVP in his team's 34-28 loss to Anacostia in last season's Interhigh championship game.

Two stars of Wilson's secondary will anchor the defense. Strong safety Rahsaan Jackson and cornerback Shawn Sanderson are classic "motivators and leaders by example," Fleming said. "They don't star with particular plays, but they're consistent throughout the entire game."

Fleming does recall one particular play involving honorable mention All-Met Jackson. As a junior facing Anacostia, Jackson forced an interception that teammate Thierno Johnson returned 99 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Jackson, who succeeded Johnson as Interhigh defensive player of the year in 1989, heads to Delaware State, while Sanderson is bound for Cheyney State.

But the outstanding player of the week-long, all-star camp thus far, at least according to Martin, has been Wilson running back-defensive tackle Mei Ahmadu.

"He's the man," Martin said, simply, of the two-way player set to attend Maryland. "He's head and shoulders above anyone else at the camp, and he's a fun-loving guy who loves to play the game."

Ahmadu said there was some tension at the beginning of the week, with players from arch rival schools suddenly on the same team. "The players from each team went into little groups of their own. But everything is calm now, and practice is relaxed," he said.

Martin, who served as both offensive and defensive coordinator at Wilson before becoming coach of the linebackers at UDC, speaks highly of Fleming as a judge of talent. "I joke with him that he would make an excellent general manager some day," Martin said.

Fleming also enlisted two recent Coolidge graduates who will be heading to Howard in the fall, where they are expected to shore up Coach Steve Wilson's offensive line. Both Fleming and Martin use identical words to describe guard Kenneth Reese (6-3, 265) and tackle Charles Bearr (6-2, 230): "great attitudes."

Martin, an invitee to the Redskins' training camp as running back in 1974 and '75 before knee surgery ended his dreams of an NFL career, is not entirely satisfied with the game's format. One aspect in particular irks him: The invitation extended by the East squad to several Metro Conference schools. Seven players from Archbishop Carroll will play for Anacostia Coach Willie Stewart.

Martin said the West refused to use any Metro players, contrary to Stewart's belief that St. John's and Gonzaga would send representatives to the game.

Fleming would rather focus on the game itself, saying, "The local kids heading off to school are great role models. I've had some past all-stars come back to the camp to speak to the kids. The kids get real excited to see what past players have done."

Tuten agreed: "We've come together as one big family. Your last {high school} game sticks in your mind, so we're trying to just have some fun."


In Lynchburg, Va., Doug Newstrom of W.T. Woodson went two for four with an RBI and a stolen base, plus pitched three scoreless innings to be named the West's MVP, but his team fell, 7-6, to the East in the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game. Carlton Reed drove in one run and scored the winning run as the East rallied for three runs in the ninth inning.


Powhatan's Corrina Angulo and Park View-Sterling's Jodi Rymer combined on a one-hitter to lead the East past the West, 2-0, in the sport's first all-star game. Scarlett Bowen of Chantilly, with five strikeouts in three innings, was the West's MVP.