Placer's Stone Sander, Eddie Vanderdoes enjoy Optimist game victory

Del Oro's Brandon Monroe runs for two scores; Hillmen's Michael Robinson gets TD in All-City Small School Football Classic
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Stone Sander felt a little rusty out at Golden Eagle Stadium.

It didn’t seem that way to those watching the 56th Optimist All-Star Football Classic at Del Oro High School Saturday afternoon.

Sander represented Placer High by catching a 3-yard touchdown pass, recovering an onside kick and a fumble in his North team’s 61-34 victory over the South in a charity game.

“It’s been a while, a little rusty,” Sander said when asked if it was good to get back out on to the field.

Sander was joined by teammate and fellow defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes. The two college-football bound Hillmen stars hadn’t competed in a game since their team lost in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs to Escalon in mid-November.

Vanderdoes also enjoyed returning to the gridiron.

“I had a lot of fun playing,” he said. “It was great coming out here seeing how good I do with three weeks off of football. It’s nice coming out, kind of working out the kinks for the Army game.”

Vanderdoes, who was selected to the Jan. 5 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, seemed to also get a kick out of his new roles in Saturday’s all-star game that resembled a Pro Bowl at times.

On several occasions the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Vanderdoes lined up in the backfield as a fullback.

On one play, called a “Jumbo Dog,” Vanderdoes took a handoff and dropped back to pass.

The left-handed Vanderdoes, who has pitched for the Hillmen varsity baseball team in the past, got off a decent throw intended for Sander. But Sander got tangled up with the defensive back.

“If he wouldn’t have tripped, he would of caught it,” Vanderdoes jokingly said of the play, which resulted in a defensive pass interference.

Del Oro’s Brandon Monroe, a San Jose State verbal commit also playing for the North, had two TDs on the ground, rushed for 86 yards and caught two balls for 25 yards.

“Great win, great experience with all these guys!” Monroe wrote on Twitter. “61-34 victory over the south. But all around great football! #optimist #north #south.”

Oddly, in Monroe’s final game at Golden Eagle Stadium his team stood on the visiting team’s sidelines.


After the Optimist game, Placer’s Michael Robinson, Brian Sabins, Isaac Brahce and Bryan Berube competed in the first-ever All-City Small Schools Football Classic. Robinson scored a TD for the North, which lost 16-12 to the South. 
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