By Zach Cavanagh

Several local football players have been selected to take part in the 59th Orange County All-Star Classic at Orange Coast College on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the game, presented by Costa Mesa United and the Los Angeles Chargers, are available for $10 on presale at www.ocallstarclassic.eventbrite.com or for $12 at the gate on Saturday.

San Clemente coach Jaime Ortiz is the head of the South County team that will look to break a 27-27-3 all-time tie with the North. Here’s a look at a few all-stars from San Juan Hills, JSerra and Capistrano Valley Christian.

San Juan Hills' Isaiah Grover is a South County All-Star. Photo: Zach Cavanagh
San Juan Hills’ Isaiah Grover is a South County All-Star. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Related: Check out our South County All-Star practice photo gallery

Isaiah Grover, San Juan Hills, DT/DE

HT: 6’ 4”

WT: 245 Lbs.

The Capistrano Dispatch: What does it mean to be an all-star?

Grover: Honestly, it’s been a childhood dream. I remember coming to watch these games when I was young. It was a huge thing for me. I always thought it would be the coolest thing to be out here.

What are you looking to get out of the experience?

This week, I’m looking to have fun. Have fun with some of the guys I’ve been playing football with for the last four years. If (college) offers show up, offers show up.

What is your favorite part about football?

Being a defensive tackle and defensive end; it’s hitting the running back. You hear that crack, and it’s a satisfying sound.

What is your favorite high school football memory?

It’d be my senior year when we beat Great Oak High School. It was a 40-yard kick, and our kicker just booted it in. It was one of the most exciting times of my life.

Super Bowl: Patriots or Eagles?

Patriots all the way. I’ve been a Pats fan since 2000.

JSerra's Nelson Lopez is a South County All-Star. Photo: Zach Cavanagh
JSerra’s Nelson Lopez is a South County All-Star. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Nelson Lopez, JSerra, OL

HT: 5’ 11”

WT: 210 Lbs.

The Capistrano Dispatch: What does it mean to be an all-star?

Lopez: To know that those four years of football paid off. Even though I might not get a scholarship or a full ride, I love being out here. I’m glad to be a part of this all-star team and be part of a new group. I get to play football again.

What are you looking to get out of the experience?

Honestly, I’m just glad that I get to play football again. Another game, one last game of high school football. Obviously, I want to take the “W” and beat the North.

What is your favorite part about football?

Just how every play you get to go against somebody, and you don’t have to say sorry if you beat them up. You just keep going and keep going and keep beating them up until they earn your respect.

What is your favorite high school football memory?

Going 10-0 freshman year. Everybody was so close, and that’s why I believe we went 10-0 that year. We beat Mater Dei who was supposed to be the greatest freshman team, but we beat them.

Super Bowl: Patriots or Eagles?

Eagles. I’m sick of seeing the Pats win the Super Bowl every year.

Capistrano Valley Christian's Colin Thornton is a South County All-Star. Photo: Zach Cavanagh
Capistrano Valley Christian’s Colin Thornton is a South County All-Star. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Colin Thornton, Capistrano Valley Christian, DT

HT: 5’ 10”

WT: 230 Lbs.

The Capistrano Dispatch: What does it mean to be an all-star?

Thornton: It’s an honor. Coming from a small school, trying to come out here and compete with the best of the best. We really have something to prove.

What are you looking to get out of the experience?

I’ve always been an underdog from a small school. I’m a smaller guy on the defensive line. I just want to come out here and show I can compete with the best of the best.

What is your favorite part about football?

Taking the hits and giving people hits. The aggressive part.

What is your favorite high school football memory?

I would have to say senior year homecoming (against Fairmont Prep). Overtime. We walked off with a field goal.

Super Bowl: Patriots or Eagles?

I’m going to have to go with the Pats. (Tom) Brady. Brady’s the G.O.A.T.

 

 

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