Another year, another high school football season in the books. The 2017 season may have concluded in December, but for a select few they will be given one more chance to showcase their talent. Senior football players throughout the Philadelphia public and non-public league have been chosen to participate in the City All-Star Football Game on Saturday, May 19.
On Saturday, players and coaches reported for picture day where I caught up with them and discussed the big game.
For the public league team, this will be the first year for John Bartram Braves’ head coach Jim Chapman, who is calling the plays. Similar to the student-athlete selection process, he was chosen as the public league head coach by the City All-Star Game board members.
Chapman, in his fifth year as the Bartram head coach, views the City All-Star Game as an important opportunity for the players involved, as well as for potential participants.
“It’s a great showcase of talent. It’s a way to keep guys on track, especially seniors,” said Chapman.
He added, “During their senior year, grade wise they start to slack around a little bit, but in order to play in the game they have to be academically eligible. So it keeps them on the right track to graduate and to do the right thing.”
Davon Thompson, one of Bartram’s own, was chosen as a defensive back for the contest. Thompson, who is committed to continue his football career at East Stroudsburg University in the fall, is taking full advantage of the occasion.
“I feel good. Not a lot of people get this opportunity so I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”
For Thompson, the City All-Star Game is more than just an opportunity to play football. He added, “Just knowing that a lot of kids from Philadelphia are staying out of the streets and all that is great, so that’s all that matters.”
“I was overwhelmed… for Philadelphia to pick me and recognize me, that was good.”
Defensive end Billy Shaeffer will be representing the reigning PIAA 5A Champions, the Archbishop Wood Vikings.
The Lafayette College-commit shared that he was excited to play in the big game “with a lot of tradition in it.” He continued, “It means a lot to be selected for this just to play in it… being regarded as one of the top players in the city.”
Shaeffer explained that he is looking forward to starting his collegiate career. “I’m excited for it. It’s been a dream since I was a little kid, to play in college. I just love football so I’m really excited.”
The City All-Star Game will be held on Saturday, May 19 at Northeast High School at 5 p.m. Live streaming will be available on www.SFBN.LIVE.