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South continues dominance in Lions All-Star Game
Ripon alumnus Xzavier Clark earns Most Inspirational for North teams
Lions All-Star Football Game
Former Manteca High lineman C.J. King tangles with Central Catholic’s Troy Leota in the 48th annual Lions All-Star Football Game at Tracy High on Saturday. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

 For many of the Lions All-Star Game participants, it’s a chance to test their talent against others who also plan on playing at the next level.

For the rest, it’s one last hurrah on the gridiron.

Xzavier Clark, C.J. King and Tommy Perea were the three alumni from local schools picked for the 48th edition of one of the oldest all-star football games in California. They were on the losing end of an 18-15 defeat Saturday at Tracy High’s Wayne Schneider Stadium, where the South team scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4 seconds remaining.

The North trailed 12-0 in the fourth quarter before scoring 15 unanswered points. In the end, quarterback David Herrera (Los Banos) hit Trace Hernandez (Central Catholic) for the game-winner.

Lions All-Star Football Game
Linebacker Tommy Perea wraps up running back Aiden Muhammad, who was named MVP in the South’s 18-15 win in the Lions All-Star Football Game on Saturday.

“It was a bitter ending to a really good all-star game,” Perea said. The Manteca High product played linebacker for the North, which still leads the all-time series 26-19-2 despite dropping five of the last six.

“Just being selected to the game was a real big honor,” Perea added.

Alex Mechikoff of Linden coached the North, while the South was co-coached by Central Catholic’s Roger Canepa and Hughson’s Shaun King.

Perea had one final outing with a former Manteca teammate while getting acquainted with several of his future Modesto Junior College teammates.

King, Manteca’s All-VOL first-team center, was thankful for the experience, as it will be his last as a football player. He’ll continue competing in track and field as a shot putter at MJC.

“I knew this was going to be my last game, so I was pretty excited to have the chance to play one more time before I’m done,” King said.

“I was definitely a little tired more than I would be in season, but it was pretty good. I feel like I played pretty well and that we all held our own.”

Lions All-Star Football Game
Ripon graduate Xzavier Clark loses his footing on a gain while surrounded by South defenders Seth Van Dyke, from left, Antonio Vizcaino and Derrick Kirkendall.

Clark will be joining Perea at MJC. The former Ripon High standout was among the postgame award winners, earning Most Inspirational Player for the North. A multi-position weapon in the Indians’ Wing-T offense, Clark was featured in every receiver spot for the North all-stars and even got to take some hand-offs as running back.

“Playing all those different positions and being wherever coach needed me, I’m guessing that played into (receiving Most Inspirational),” Clark said. “He put faith in me to learn all those positions in a week, and I think I got it done, for the most part.”

Running back Aiden Muhammed (Enochs) was named MVP, scoring two touchdowns for the South. Jalonn Booth (Merced) of the South was Defensive MVP, and North quarterback Samson Hunkin (St. Mary’s) won Offensive MVP. Hunter Goudeau (Central Catholic) was the South’s Most Inspirational Player.