Over its first three years, the Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star Game has undergone several changes in the format and the way the game and surrounding events operate.
With the fourth edition of the game kicking off this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Mountain View Community Stadium, everything is relatively stable for the first time.
COUNTY ALL-STAR GAME
What: Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star Game
When: Today, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain View High School
Rosters for today’s Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star Game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Mountain View:
No. Name Pos. High school
10 Kent Rollins QB South Gwinnett
11 Christian Davila QB Hebron
12 Demetrius Alston TE Norcross
14 Xavier Walker DB Duluth
15 Eric Barr DB Buford
16 Aaron Wimberly RB South Gwinnett
17 Cameron Olds DB Central Gwinnett
18 Justin Watts DB Peachtree Ridge
20 Trevon Walker RB/DB South Gwinnett
21 Tyler Cierski RB Mill Creek
22 Dubem Nwadiogbu RB Peachtree Ridge
23 Joe Anderson RB Parkview
24 Charlie Rhea P Norcross
25 Matt Herman LB Mountain View
30 Angelo Watley LB Peachtree Ridge
40 Seth Hinsley LB Norcross
41 Tanner Botts TE/DE Peachtree Ridge
42 John McWilliams LB Norcross
43 Kenny Flowers LB/TE Parkview
44 Silverberry Mouhon LB Norcross
48 Tyler Botts TE/DE Peachtree Ridge
50 Austin Hagan OL Mill Creek
51 Joe Hillin OL South Gwinnett
52 Jonathan Crowder OL Central Gwinnett
53 Ben Bradley OL Norcross
61 Jonathan Moore OL Meadowcreek
63 Jordan Trahan OL Peachtree Ridge
64 Keith Hegger OL Meadowcreek
65 Richard Shankle OL South Gwinnett
70 Walter McGriff OL Parkview
71 Clayton Truitt OL Parkview
72 Austin Thompson OL Mill Creek
80 Alec McGehee WR Duluth
81 Kevin Gary WR South Gwinnett
82 Devonte Lewis WR Mill Creek
83 Ozzie Exume WR Central Gwinnett
Head coach: Keith Maloof, Norcross
Honorary head coach: Todd Cline, Gwinnett Daily Post
Assistant coaches: John Small, South Gwinnett; Bill Ballard, Peachtree Ridge; Jess Simpson, Buford; Brian Smith, Hebron; Cecil Flowe, Parkview; Shannon Jarvis, Mill Creek; Corey Jarvis, Duluth; Todd Wofford, Central Gwinnett; Deario Grimmage, Meadowcreek; Tim Hardy, Mountain View
Managers/trainers: Sarah Bailey, Eboni Skerrit, Brandi Harper, Terry Turner
No. Name Pos. High school
10 C.J. Uzomah QB/WR North Gwinnett
11 Justyn Shackelford WR Berkmar
12 Taylor Heinicke QB Collins Hill
14 Dexter Walker DB Dacula
15 Camen Marshall DB Grayson
16 Derrick Butts DB Shiloh
17 Nick Moore DB Brookwood
18 Dayton Overstreet DB North Gwinnett
20 David Harber RB GAC
21 Denzel Nkemdiche RB Grayson
22 Sam Muse RB Shiloh
23 Mychael Hines RB Archer
24 Matt Carothers K GAC
25 Erick Yang K Brookwood
30 Rashaud Lewis DB Berkmar
40 Travis Parker LB Collins Hill
41 Brandon McGowan LB North Gwinnett
42 Michael Peek LB Grayson
43 Wesley Washington LB Shiloh
44 Josh Payne DB Dacula
48 Wilson Hudgins TE Grayson
50 Matt Pogue OL Dacula
51 Garrett Clark OL North Gwinnett
53 Manrey Saint-Armour OL North Gwinnett
60 Nnamdi Ofodile DL Grayson
61 Jake Banta DL Collins Hill
62 Joshua Williams DL Shiloh
63 Michael Young DL Grayson
64 Brinson Porter DL Wesleyan
65 Kevin Brou DL Wesleyan
70 Lawson Hale OL Brookwood
71 Josh Wilson OL Grayson
73 Jordan Pope OL Wesleyan
80 Xaviir Briggs WR Berkmar
81 Kitaro Lewis WR North Gwinnett
82 Jeff Glover WR Collins Hill
83 Zay Howard WR Collins Hill
Head coach: Mickey Conn, Grayson
Honorary head coach: Will Hammock, Gwinnett Daily Post
Assistant coaches: Andy Dyer, Archer; Franklin Pridgen, Wesleyan; Tim Cokely, GAC; Jonathan Sanks, Berkmar; Kevin Reach, Collins Hill; Bob Sphire, North Gwinnett; John Thompson, Dacula; Phillip Hale, Shiloh; Billy Wells, Lanier; Mark Crews, Brookwood
Managers/trainers: Larry Grizzle, Eddie Knox
“This is the fourth year we’ve had this (game), and I think things are moving a little smoother this year.” said Norcross coach Keith Maloof, who will serve as head coach of one of the two teams, along with honorary coach and Daily Post editor Todd Cline. “The coaches know what to do now, and the players are getting better and better.”
As with the past three games, there will be no shortage of talent on the field with 73 of Gwinnett’s top seniors divided up into two teams.
While this game is a fun privilege for the participants, the players and coaches are competitive enough that winning is important to them.
Being able to do so will depend on which team is best able to mesh the talents of players with the coaching styles of the coaching staffs.
That may be particularly the case with the two teams’ offenses, which feature some of county’s most productive players this season.
On the surface, that may seem a challenge for Team Mickey Conn.
That team’s offense, which features several players that came from wide-open spread offenses like Gwinnett passing record holder Taylor Heinicke of Collins Hill and multi-talented Auburn commitment C.J. Uzomah of North Gwinnett, plus receivers Jeff Glover and Zay Howard of Collins Hill and Justyn Shackelford of Berkmar, seems mismatched with the Grayson head coach, whose Rams offense operates out of the more run-based wing-T.
But as Conn points out, many of his assistant coaches — including Archer head coach Andy Dyer, who will serve as the team’s offensive coordinator, plus North’s Bob Spire, Collins Hill’s Kevin Reach and Wesleyan’s Franklin Pridgen — run a variety of different sets.
“I think I’m the only wing-T guy here,” joked Conn, who will be joined on the sideline by another honorary coach, Daily Post sports editor Will Hammock. “But we’ve got a good mix of players and coaches. ... It’s an all-star game. We ought to be good at whatever we want to do.”
That also goes for the Team Keith Maloof offense, which features excellent two-way threats at quarterback in South Gwinnett’s Kent Rollins and Hebron Christian’s Christian Davila, as well as twin threats in the other skill positions like South’s Aaron Wimberly and Trevon Walker, Tyler Cierski and Devonte Lewis of Mill Creek and Ozzie Exume of Central Gwinnett.
However, the abundance of talent in the skill positions doesn’t mean the offenses will dominate.
Both defenses are also stacked with talent. Division I prospects like Norcross’ Demetrius Alston and Silverberry Mouhon, Peachtree Ridge’s Tanner Botts and Angelo Watley, Eric Barr of Class AA state champion Buford and Xavier Walker of Duluth are among Team Maloof’s standouts. Defensive back Nick Moore of recently crowned Class AAAAA state champion Brookwood, as well as Michael Peek and Denzel Nkemdiche from Grayson’s stubborn defense highlight the Team Conn roster.
“There’s all sorts of talent last year, too, but the game wound up 7-3,” recalled Maloof. “Plus, it’s hard to put in a whole offense and defense in just one week, but these kids come game ready. There’s not much physical stuff you have to do.
“(But) the fun thing for these kids is they get to meet kids they’ve competed against for a long time, and now they get a chance to play together.”
Conn agrees the friendships built between the players and coaches has been the most fun aspect of practice leading up to the game.
“The neat thing has been as competitive as these kids are, they come out here and really get to know each other quickly,” Conn said. “I’ve really been impressed with the camaraderie with the players and coaches.”