ROHNERT PARK — Twelve Napa County high school seniors enjoyed one more opportunity to don football uniforms Saturday in an inaugural tri-county all-Star football game showcasing talent from 28 schools in Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties.
The local players helped the White team defeat the Blue team, 14-7, at Rancho Cotate High.
Rancho Cotate’s Ed Conroy and Marin Catholic’s Mazi Moayed were selected as head coaches for the Blue and White teams, respectively, and were joined by their staffs.
The Napa County players were American Canyon’s Michael Rapacon, D.J. Hughes, Vincent Foster, Jason Watkins and Joey Dodson, Vintage’s Ray Arredondo Jr., Austin Trosin and Anthony Hernandez, St. Helena’s Kile Grayson and Gatlin Blakeley, Napa’s Kyle Beaver and Calistoga’s Austin Pereira.
Hughes had a forced fumble that halted a Blue drive moments before halftime, and Foster had an interception that thwarted another Blue drive.
“I was playing with guys that I hadn’t met before,” Hughes said. “It was really fun. There were guys I didn’t even know. We played hard and hit a lot in practice. It was a high-tempo college pace.”
Hughes is hopeful of continuing his playing career at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Rapacon threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to San Marin’s Vince Sbragia for a 7-0 White lead in the first quarter.
“It felt really good,” Rapacon said. “The first practice I felt gassed right after warmups. I hadn’t been doing anything since the season ended. It felt good to get out there. I didn’t think we’d come as close as we did, but we really bonded together.”
Rapacon hopes to play NCAA Div. III football.
Hernandez added a tackle for a loss, Grayson logged time at both tight end and linebacker. Blakeley played at wide receiver. Pereira got playing time at center, while Beaver and Rapacon alternated snaps at quarterback.
Trosin, Arredondo and Hernandez each logged playing time on defense.
“It felt great,” Arredondo said. “Practices were breaking in slow, but as the week went on we got back into the flow. The defense was really easy. We picked up on it right away and went with it.”
Arredondo is considering playing at Diablo Valley College or Santa Rosa JC. Trosin is considering the latter.
“I didn’t think I was going to play another high school game but we all came together and played together,” Trosin said. “There are some guys that one day are your enemy but the next day you are playing alongside them.”