Rewarded for his electrifying play at receiver, Marcellus Boykins participated in the first of two all-star football games this past weekend.
"Competition is always fun," said Boykins, a 2017 Ceres High grad. "It brings out the best in each and every player."
Marcellus caught three passes for 40 yards during the South team's thrilling 30-17 win over the North team at the 44th Annual Central California Lions All-Star Football Game Saturday night at Tracy High's Wayne Schneider Stadium.
"It's a great feeling knowing all of the hard work we put in during the week wasn't for nothing," Boykins said.
Led by quarterback Danny Velasquez (Turlock), the South battled back from a 17-0 halftime deficit.
Velasquez accounted for four touchdowns, including two passing and two rushing.
Boykins extended a drive in the second half when he hauled in a pass on third down.
"I didn't think the game was over," Marcellus said. "It was only a three-possession game. We made some adjustments and executed our game plan. Everything clicked for us. It was just a blessing to be a part of something that special. He (Velasquez) really stepped up when we needed him the most. He's a leader. It was a great experience playing with him."
Boykins and his South teammates practiced and stayed in dorms at Stanislaus State leading up to the Lions All-Star Game.
Marcellus roomed with Central Catholic's Cole Pentlansky (Central Catholic) and Golden Valley's Cadrian McDaniels (Golden Valley).
"Overall, it was really fun," Boykins said. "We had quite a bit of down time. We hung out and played pool. I met some special guys. I created some friendships that will last forever."
A three-year starter at Ceres High, Boykins caught 151 passes for 2,144 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Marcellus was selected to the WAC Team as a senior and sophomore.
He ranked fifth in the Sac-Joaquin Section in receptions (78), ninth in yards (1,145) and 10th in touchdowns (9) as the Bulldogs posted a 4-6 overall record and placed fourth in the Western Athletic Conference standings (2-3) this past fall.
Central Valley grad Jonathan Barragan also suited up for the South team at the Lions All-Star Game.
Barragan suffered a knee injury in the first half and didn't return to the contest.
Jonathan enjoyed a breakout campaign as the Hawks' featured running back in 2016.
He rushed for 1,148 yards and 13 TDs.
Barragan earned first-team all-conference honors.
Central Valley (9-2, 5-0) made history by winning its first-ever conference championship and setting a program record for victories in a season.
The Hawks qualified for the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Boykins will suit up for the North team at 32nd Annual North-South Rotary All-Star Game this Saturday in Merced. Kickoff slated for 7:45 p.m.