ATLANTA, GA -The Real AJ Foundation will present the 4th Annual “Georgia High School All-Star Event” on December 22, 2015 in the Georgia Dome, benefitting Cerebral Palsy Awareness.
A North Georgia All-star team coached by North Murray’s Houston White, will take on an All-star team from Metro Atlanta in a 4:30 game. In addition, the East Ridge 12-year-old Scenic City Youth Football League Super Bowl champions, coached by Jamey Jones, will play at 3:00 p.m. against an Atlanta team.
Jones’ East Ridge 10-year-old team won in the Georgia Dome in 2013 and the East Ridge Mustangs 12s lost a thriller to Calhoun in 2012.
“I expect a great atmosphere at the Georgia Dome on Tuesday,” said White, a former standout three-sport sports star at East Ridge High. “We know Metro Atlanta will have a talented team and we must be ready to play. It should be a great day of football with youth games, as well as, our game and the junior game to follow.”
The North team has area stars Will Swantic (QB) Southeast Whitfield), Caleb O’Neal (QB) Gordon Lee, Cameron Heard (DB) Northwest Whitfield, Leonardo Lechuga (DB) North Murray, Marquel Lane (WR/DB) Adairsville, Aaron Croom (RB) Cohahulla Creek, Isai Hernandez (PK) Dalton, Tyler Brown (RB) Southeast Whitfield, D.Q. Cole (WR/DB) Dade County, Zack Freeman (WR/DB) Dade County, Teddy Cole (RB) Dade County, Tyler Noland (WR) Dalton, Damien Pickering (FB/LB) Dade County, Christian East (LB) Calhoun, Drake Green (LB) Calhoun, Drake Green (DE) Adairsville, Jase Chastin (LB) Dalton, Nathan Morgan (LB) Ridgeland, Austin Morrison (LB) Northwest Whitfield, Darian Foster (LB) Chattooga), Matt Cook (LB) Dalton, Brit Hasty (DL) Southeast Whitfield, Kobe Hull (DL) Northwest Whitfield, Keith Jones (DL) Dade County, Chris Murphy (OL) Chattooga, Luke Shehee (OL) Heritage, Andrew Williams (OL) Dalton, Will Boydston (OL) Ridgeland, Emmanuel Jacobo (DL) North Murray and Fletcher Keeton (OL) Dade County.
White said the game provides a tremendous opportunity for these North Georgia players.
“First, they get a chance to have fun and put their talents on display in a great arena like the Georgia Dome,” he said. “Second, it provides an opportunity for their family and friends to see them play a game they love one more time. In addition, it gives them one more chance to be seen by various colleges if they want an opportunity to continue playing football at the next level.”
White is no stranger to this type of an event. He’s now coached in 12 All-star football games in Texas, Tennessee and Georgia.
“I really enjoy the relationship with the players and having fun watching these guys put the pads on one more time,” he said. “Also, it is always fun to get a great bunch of coaches together where you can watch these guys coach up close and build coaching friendships. I fully expect this game to be right up there with the most exciting and fun All Star Games I have been around. Also, being a part of such a wonderful cause that The RealAJFoundation provides is very exciting and fulfilling for our coaches and players.”
Former Chattooga High head coach John Starr is the Executive Director of the Real AJ Foundation event.
Starr, who is presently the head coach at Salem High, said there’s an importance of highlighting the talents of the all-star players selected.
“These athletes have earned their positions by showing outstanding effort, commitment and dedication to Georgia High School Football,” said Coach Starr. “It’s always great to provide an opportunity for those who may not have gotten exposure during their season, to be recognized as well.”
Former Mt. Zion HS (DT) Standout Alexus Johnson Jr. shared his thoughts as an alumni participant of the event.
“It was my last HS football game,” he said. “Every guy in Georgia wants to play their last game at the Georgia Dome! I was able to go out with a bang! It was an opportunity to play with and against some of the best players in the state. It’s something I will never forget.”
Alexus is a 2016 verbal commit of the Tennessee Volunteers, with additional offers from Louisville, Auburn, Kentucky, Baylor, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
In addition to the football, Coach Starr wants to remind those across the state of what the primary focus of the event is.
“We are trying to raise the awareness of Cerebral Palsy among the football community, good families and the youth,” he said. “In order to meet our mission and provide services in our community, we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support. Without the assistance of community-minded individuals, we would not be able to serve those in our community and across our region each year. We look forward to growing our annual event.”
The foundation has already garnered the support of local community and regional partners, such as: Truck Town (Summerville, Ga) and received sponsorship support of local NFL and NFL Alumni talents, Senorise Perry (Chicago Bears) Northwest Ga All-Star Team sponsor; Torell Troup (Buffalo Bills) Metro Atlanta All-Star Team sponsor; Super Bowl Champion Deon Grant (NY Giants) and Takeo Spikes (San Diego Chargers) CSRA-Augusta Area All-Star team sponsors.
A day of football in the Dome starts at 9:00 a.m. with youth games. The Junior All-star game will be played at 7:30.
Families and friends are welcome to support the event and tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the Box office before the event.