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Local stars suit up for Optimist showcase

High School Football
By: Journal Sports Staff
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Four football standouts will represent the foothills one more time this weekend at American River College. Offensive lineman Brandon Pope and wide receiver Cameron Southward, both of Placer High, and Bear River linemen Garret Davis and Cole White will play together for the North Team in the 54th annual Optimist All-Star game Saturday. The game is a showcase of some of the top graduated seniors in the Sac-Joaquin Section, playing their final game before many move on to the college ranks. “It’s a great honor for them,” Placer head coach Joey Montoya said. “It shows that you had a great year individually. It’s really one more shot to put on the pads.” While several area standouts declined their invitations for various reasons, the pairs from the Pioneer Valley League rivals will face a talented roster of athletes from South schools. Pope, a 6-foot, 185-pound lineman, was an instrumental part of the Hillmen’s offensive line and also had 18 tackles for Placer last fall. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Southward caught 38 passes for 733 yards and seven touchdowns. He also made 43 tackles and caught five interceptions on defense, helping the Hillmen to a 12-2 record and a deep run in the Division IV playoffs. White, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound bruiser, ran 132 times for 694 yards and nine touchdowns last fall, but will play as a defensive lineman on Saturday. He had 159 tackles to lead the Bruins. Davis, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound tackle, was talented on both sides of the ball for Bear River (5-5). Inderkum High head coach Terry Stark will lead the North team, while Burbank’s John Heffernan is coaching the South squad. The Optimist game is slated to start at 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 and tickets are $10 at the gate. Proceeds benefit Camp Ross Relles in Nevada City for handicapped children.