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The 47th Annual Lions All-Star High School Football Classic: Breaking Barriers and Showcasing Talent

by Janiya Croxie
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The 47th annual Kensington Lions All-Star High School Football Classic is set to take place on Friday, July 28th, at Buffalo States Coyer Field. This event promises to celebrate talent, dedication, and inclusivity as it brings together the finest high school football players from Northern and Southern regions. 

What makes this year’s All-Star Classic even more remarkable is the historic representation of the South by an all-black coaching staff. It marks the first time in this event’s history that the coaching staff from the southern region schools comprised entirely of talented black coaches. This landmark moment not only celebrates diversity and inclusion but also reflects the rising influence of minority coaches in the sport. 

Coach Tyree Parker, the head coach of the South team, expressed his pride in leading this historic coaching staff. “It’s special for me because these are the guys I’ve been coaching with and some of the guys I grew up with. But to have an all-black staff shows that we are being granted the opportunity to show that we can coach with the best of them.”

In preparation for the game, coaches and players have been working tirelessly to ensure they take home a win. Practices have been intense and focused, with players dedicating themselves to improving their skills and teamwork.

“Hard work, dedication, and execution. Those things right there are a combination for a championship, and that’s why our goal is to go all the way to the top. Concentration plus execution,” said Coach Ron Reddick, assistant coach of the South team.

Many seniors, set to play their last high school football game, spoke about their preparation and emotions leading up to the All-Star Classic. 

“It’s my last time playing with a lot of my brothers on the field, so I just mainly want to enjoy it and have fun out there,” said Ricardo Kidd, senior running back from St. Francis High School.

Micah Harry, a senior running back for Lancaster High School, speaks on what he and his teammates are working on to look good on the field. “We’re prioritizing the little things, and focussing on details when we go into every play at every single position group. It’s more about not getting as many plays in, but mastering the plays we are putting in and having everyone know their role.”

The chemistry between the coaches for this South team is evident, as they understand each other’s strengths and work together seamlessly to bring out the best in their athletes. The players, too, acknowledge the impact of the coaching staff on their preparation for the game. 

Quarterback Ben Gocella shared, “You couldn’t get better coaches out here, they care so much about us, and they’re putting in hard work and dedication when they don’t have to. They are doing it all for us and it means a lot.”

The 47th Annual Kensington Lions All-Star High School Football Classic will be an unforgettable event, uniting talented athletes, passionate coaches, and fans for an evening of football action. As the South breaks barriers with its all-black coaching staff against the North, the event exemplifies the spirit of diversity, unity, and excellence in high school sports.

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