By Stephanie Hammon
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at 4:22 pm in East Bay Football.
A collection of top East Bay high school seniors will get the chance to show off their football skills while also raising money for a worthy cause at Saturday’s Literacy Classic All-Star game.
The East Bay all-stars, led by quarterbacks Nsimba Webster of Deer Valley and Drew Anderson of Miramonte, will take on their counterparts from the West Bay (San Jose to San Francisco) at 7 p.m. at San Jose City College.
The game was organized by Charles Nash and Competitive Elite Sports to help raise money for a literacy program that works with students in grades 6-9 on improving their reading, writing and public speaking skills.
Liberty’s Jeff Walters will coach the East Bay squad, and he will have an abundance of talent to work with, especially at the skill positions.
Besides Webster, the East Bay Offensive Player of the Year, and Anderson, who passed for 4,074 yards and 47 touchdowns while leading Miramonte to the North Coast Section Division II title, the East Bay squad also includes some of the area’s most productive receivers and running backs as well as some hard-nosed defenders.
“It’s almost an embarrassment of riches,” Walters said of his quarterback situation. “With Nsimba, we want to put his athleticism to work, so there will be time when (he and Anderson) are both in the game at the same time. We want to give Nsimba a couple of reps at receiver.”
The receiving corps also includes Miramonte’s Dominic Paoletti, St. Mary’s Liam Godfrey, Deer Valley’s Nzuzi Webster (Nsimba’s twin brother) and Northgate tight end Jake Smith, the Diablo Valley Athletic League MVP. Northgate running back Eric Haynes (2,058 rushing yards, 36 TDs) will also help the offense.
De La Salle’s Larry Ross and Deer Valley’s Chibueze Onyeukwu anchor the defense.
Opposing the East Bay team on Saturday will be a group of Central Coast Section all-stars coached by Earl Hansen. After a 26-year career over two stints at Palo Alto, including a state title run in 2010, Hansen is retiring.
Walters, a first-year coach who guided Liberty to the NCS Division I playoffs for the first time in 10 years, spent time with Hansen at a banquet for the literacy program over the weekend.
“What an interesting juxtaposition of having me in my first year and him in his final game,” Walters said. “He’s an awesome guy and I drank in the moment of getting to sit next to a legend in bay area football.”
Tickets to the game are $10 for adults and $6 for students and kids under 13.