It's only a few hours away from opening kickoff of the 55th annual Brea Lions Club Orange County North/South Prep All-Star Charity Football Game, and 11 local athletes, having gone through several practice sessions since June 30, are ready to take part in their final high school game.
Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Orange Coast College's LeBard Stadium.
The showcase game is the longest-running All-Star prep football game in the state and third oldest nationally.
The 11 local players in the contest will suit up for the South: quarterback Kai Ross, receivers Maurice Barber and Tucker deCamp and offensive lineman Evander Warren of Huntington Beach, offensive lineman Markus Boyer, defensive lineman David Siliuta and kicker/punter Hunter Kelley of Edison, defensive backs Jacob Church and Isaiah Davis of Fountain Valley, Will Martin of Brethren Christian, and Evan Perzanowski of Ocean View.
Perzanowski, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound lineman, was added to the South roster late last week. He replaces Christian Manzano (injury) of Laguna Hills.
The South is led by Huntington Beach High Head Coach Eric Lo and members of the Huntington Beach coaching staff.
The South is led on offense by the quarterback rotation of Kai Ross and Luke Napoliatno of Corona del Mar.
Ross had a stellar ending to his Huntington Beach career. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound athlete not only engineered the Oilers to the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoffs, but guided them to the Southwest Division championship last December at Angel Stadium.
His spectacular play turned a tight Southwest Division title game around in what seemed like a heartbeat. Ross threw a touchdown pass and then returned two passes for scores on consecutive plays for scrimmage, all coming in a quick span with under seven minutes to play, breaking a 21-21 tie and propelling the Oilers on to an eventual 42-28 victory.
Ross was named co-Offensive Back of the Year in the Sunset League and Defensive Player of the Year on the All-CIF Southwest Division team. At the Orange County Prep All-Star Football Recognition Dinner in the spring, he was awarded the annual Orange County Prep Football Player of the Year which was selected by Southern California sportswriters.
The Cal Poly Pomona-bound Ross passed for 2,291 yards and 31 touchdowns, rushed for 810 yards and nine touchdowns and defensively intercepted seven passes, returning the final two of his Huntington Beach career for touchdowns in the Southwest Division title game win.
The South's other quarterback, Luke Napolitano, turned in a record-setting senior campaign, which was his first year starting at quarterback, during a historic 2013 season for Corona del Mar.
Napolitano, who will attend the University of San Diego, set CdM single-season school records for passing yards (2,645) and completions (197), had 25 touchdowns passes with 11 interceptions, and completed 62.3% of his passes.
He is the CdM career leader for passing yards (2,703) and completions (203).
The 6-3, 200 Napolitano was first-team All-Pacific Coast League, All-CIF-SS Southern Division, and first-team CalHiSports.com All-State (medium-sized schools).
CdM went 16-0 in 2013, a season capped by a 27-15 victory over Atherton Sacred Heart Prep in the CIF State Division III Bowl Game last December. The 2013 Sea Kings became the first football team in California to go 16-0.
Tickets for the North/South All-Star Game are $12. Game proceeds benefit Western Youth Services Inc., Orange County Youth Foundation Inc., and participating local high schools and youth groups.
Gates open at 6 p.m. Thursday.