The Literacy Classic All-Star high school football game is returning to San Jose City College on Saturday night, but the matchup has changed in an attempt to make the contest more competitive.
This time, it's seniors from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties against seniors from the East Bay. Or, as game organizer Charles Nash put it, it's the 408 and 650 against the 510 and 925.
The game, scheduled to start at 7 p.m., marks a farewell of sorts for longtime Palo Alto coach Earl Hansen, who announced his retirement after the season. Hansen will coach the team from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Liberty's Jeff Walters will coach the East Bay team.
Hansen's team will include many area standouts, including Wilcox running back Delshawn Mitchell, linebackers Sione Finefeuiaki of Wilcox and Nick Pierotti of Terra Nova and quarterbacks Jonathan Walters of Saratoga and Will Fischer-Colbrie of St. Francis. "It's kind of fun to get to know some of these kids that we've been playing against and scouting," Hansen said.
In last year's game, the North team comprised of players from San Jose, northern Santa Clara County and San Mateo County routed the South team comprised of players from the southern end of the Central Coast Section through Morgan Hill 42-7.
But despite the one-sided result, the game was a box-office success as the teams nearly filled SJCC. Proceeds go toward literacy programs. A literacy banquet held last weekend in Pleasanton included some of the players and coaches that will be on the field Saturday.
"We honored 20 kids that participated in our summer six-week reading and writing program," Nash said.
Mountain View's best win this season occurred a week earlier, 2-1 over Serra. "That was very good that we beat them," forward Brad Bumgarner said.