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Rivals unite on the field
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Tyree Jones, Dashawn Mena and Hadon Lopez have been selected to participate in the 26th Annual Chowchilla Rotary High School All-Star Football Game on June 24.

"It's an honor and blessing to get to play with the best players around," said Jones, a 2011 graduate of Central Valley. "I'm going to have fun and create new relationships with people."

Rivals in high school, Jones, Mena, Lopez and talent from Central Catholic, Livingston, Patterson, Los Banos, Turlock, Pitman, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Merced, Golden Valley, Waterford, Denair, Gustine, Le Grand, Mariposa, Hilmar, Modesto Christian, Escalon, Oakdale, Chowchilla and Dos Palos will try to lead the North team to victory this Friday at Henry Massaro Stadium.

"I have great respect for both of them," said Tyree, who plans to continue his football career at Merced College. "I talk with them all the time. They're good guys."

Jones had a productive career with the Hawks.

He rushed for a school-record 1,717 yards and 14 touchdowns his senior year.

Tyree made the Western Athletic Conference First Team.

Lopez and Mena were major contributors at Ceres High.

Hadon started at middle linebacker for four seasons.

He managed to tally 77 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles despite missing five games with a foot injury his senior year.

"We couldn't put him up for all league because he didn't play in enough games," said Brett Johnson, Lopez's high-school coach. "There was a point in the season where he was in the top 10 in the nation in tackles. If he stayed healthy, it would have been hard not to select him for the Lions all-star game as well."

"I'm looking forward to playing football again," Hadon said. "The funnest part is going out there and hitting people. I wish the game was tomorrow."

Mena, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound lineman, had 28 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery while earning first-team, all-conference honors this past season.

Dashawn and Tyree both suited up for the South while participating in the 38th Annual Lions All-Star Football game last Saturday at the University of the Pacific. The North won, 21-6.

Time permitting, Lopez will join Mena at Modesto Junior College or enroll at Mendocino College this fall.

"They worked hard to get to this point," Johnson said. "I plan on going to both all-star games. It's fun to kick back and watch them out there."

"To be able to put my helmet and pads on one more time is amazing," Jones said. "There's nothing like high-school football."