CORONA – The Riverside Sheriffs’ Association All-star Football Classic, produced the by 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Inland Valley Classic (IVC), held its second annual all-star game Saturday, Jan. 20, at Corona High School. The game featured the top senior prep football players in Riverside County in two big all-star events as the second Annual 215 Football Classic was also held at 5 p.m. the same day, featuring the top senior prep football players who play at “small” schools and/or 8-man football programs.
Ken Muchinskie, head football coach at Ramona High School, served as head coach of the North-West Riverside County All-star team and DeChon Burns, head football coach at Linfield Christian School, served as head coach of the southeast Riverside County All-Stars team. For the 215 game it was Seth Padgett, head football coach at Santa Rosa Academy High School, that served as head coach of the Riverside County All-star team and Amahl Thomas, head football coach at The Webb Schools, who served as head coach of the San Bernardino County All-stars team.
Coach Thomas and the San Bernardino All-Stars took the victory in the first game of the day, 35-12, and Coach DeChon Burns led his all-stars to a thrilling 17-14 victory.
“This was a great opportunity for players, many of them from small schools,” said Thomas. “Some of our guys have never played in a stadium before, this puts an exclamation mark on their career. Some will go forward and play college ball and the others have a memory to hold on to forever.”
Kelley Coleman of Temecula Valley was named MVP of the Riverside Sheriffs Association high school all-star game and received the scholar-athlete award scholarship. “Feels great to the win for my teammates and it was an honor to be out here, especially with the new guys, making new friends, having bonds for the future.”
Winning coach DeChon Burns said, “It is great for the young men, this is their last high-school football game ever. To see them come together in four days and bond like they did was awesome. These kids were so receptive to our coaching, and really listened, which was refreshing now days.”
During halftime Coach Jeff Steinberg of Rancho Verde was honored as the Fox Sports 1350 AM / Southern California Football Coaches Association “Prep football coach of the Year.” Coach Steinberg was selected by Riverside County coaching peers for the honor. The selection was due in large part to him guiding his Rancho Verde Mustangs to a thrilling CIF-SS Division III title. A game won in the closing seconds, thanks to a 37-yard field goal that lifted Rancho Verde over St. Francis, 44-42. Fox Sports Radio 1350 also honored the Prep Football – Player of the Year: Hank Bachmeier (QB), who was present to accept the award.
“The outcome is what is, but were really out here to have a good time, and get the kids some exposure. We were a little jittery in the first half, but I’m proud of how they responded in the second half,” stated Runner-up Coach Muchinskie. “When I was texting these kids, so many of them were so happy to receive the invitation and were so respectful in how they communicated with me, they didn’t know me at all when this started. They were very humble, it was a great week of practice, I enjoyed it and I know they did as well.”
The Inland Valley Classic is fully invested in the growth of youth sports in the area and this year the organization partnered with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Riverside Rams Youth Football. During both all-star games, funds were raised to support youth sports in Riverside County, as well as the Inland Valley Scholarship fund.
“We are committed to high school sports in the Inland Empire,” said game co-coordinator, Brian Arrington of Fox Sports Radio. “Regardless of what division these fine student-athletes compete within, they deserve to be honored as all-stars.” Fox Sports Radio’s Eddie Talbert, Jr. who also served as the game co-coordinator added, “What I am most proud of, is our ability to give back to Inland Empire youth and prep sports. This year, we were able to award a scholarship to one lucky student-athlete, and donate to a youth sports program at the game.”
Next up is the Inland Valley Hall of Fame Football All-star Classic which will take place Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at AB Miller High School.