Recent graduates Daniel Alvarado of Central Valley, and Caleb McDade and Ramon Coral of Ceres High traveled to Merced last week to participate in the 30th Annual North-South Rotary All-Star Football Game.
Alvarado, McDade and Coral all made contributions as the North shut out the South 15-0 Friday night at Golden Valley High School's Veterans Stadium.
"I was a little nervous before the game," Caleb said. "I didn't know what to expect. I heard the South's line was humungous and they had some good running backs. I was surprised we shut them out. I thought there would be a lot more scoring."
Coral collected three tackles and one sack while logging playing time at defensive end.
He forced a turnover on downs in the red zone with a sack late in the game.
"It was pretty cool," Coral said. "I sniffed out the play."
McDade, an outside linebacker, made three tackles.
"It meant a lot to play in the game, especially winning," McDade said. "There wasn't any drama. Everyone got along pretty well."
McDade will do missionary work for his church for two years in Spain.
"It's something I planned on doing ever since I was little," said Caleb, who will attend Brigham Young University in Idaho when he returns home.
Alvarado played left guard on offense against the South.
Daniel suffered a right knee injury in a 24-7 upset loss to crosstown-rival Ceres High during the 2014-15 school year. He rehabbed for several months.
"It was pretty cool to get once last chance to play," said Alvarado, who plans to enroll in barber school. "You're competing against everybody that is good, too."
Coral and Alvarado played freshman football together at Central Valley.
"I grew up with that guy," Daniel said. "He's one of my closest friends. For us to play together on the same team again was a cool experience."
"We stayed friends," Coral added. "I saw him all the time."
Coral and McDade were teammates for three seasons at Ceres High, including two varsity.
"Caleb's a great guy," Coral said. "I'm really proud of him and what he's going to do. I wish him the best of luck."
"It was fun to play football with Ramon again," McDade stated. "He's one of my best friends."
McDade and Coral were key players on Ceres High's 3-7 football squad this past fall.
McDade earned first-team Western Athletic Conference honors.
Caleb anchored the Bulldogs' offensive line.
He was also an honorable-mention pick at linebacker.
McDade led the WAC in tackles with 59.
Coral garnered second-team all-league recognition.
Ramon totaled 28 tackles and 21/2 sacks at defensive end.
Coral will continue his football career at Santa Barbara City College.
Alvarado started at center for two seasons with Central Valley, which compiled a 5-5 record and just missed out on its second straight playoff berth this past year.
Daniel was selected to the WAC First Team following a productive senior campaign.
Alvarado was Central Valley's top offensive lineman.
A total of 56 high schools were represented at the North/South Rotary All-Star Game.
The North team's roster featured 2015 graduates from Central Valley, Ceres High, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Central Catholic, Enochs, Escalon, Golden Valley, Gustine, Gregori, Hilmar, LeGrand, Livingston, Los Banos, Mariposa, Merced, Modesto Christian, Orestimba, Oakdale, Patterson, Pacheco, Pitman, Ripon, Ripon Christian, Riverbank, Stoneridge and Turlock.
The North competed against talent from Buchanan, Caruthers, Central, Chowchilla, Clovis East, Clovis West, Coalinga, Dos Palos, Firebaugh, Fowler, Fresno, Hoover, Kerman, Kingsburg, Liberty, Madera, Madera South, McLane, Mendota, Minarets, Parlier, Roosevelt, Sanger, Sierra, S.J. Memorial, Sunnyside, Washington and Yosemite.
"It was fun," Ramon said. "I was surrounded by a bunch of talent. There was a lot of competition. We wanted to win and have fun. Our team was selfless. There were no prima donnas."