The Chattanooga area will be well represented in tonight's annual Toyota East/West All-Star high school football game, which is set to kick off at 8 EST at Tennessee Tech University.
As players from one end of Tennessee to the other suit up to represent their half of the state, nine area players will be on hand for the East, which has East Hamilton's Ted Gatewood as the head coach and Cleveland's Ron Crawford as an assistant.
The area players are Baylor kicker Rafael Gaglianone, East Hamilton quarterback Hunter Moore and cornerback Tre Herndon, Cleveland quarterback Austin Herink and cornerback D.J. Jones, Ooltewah offensive lineman David Nobles and defensive lineman David Strickland, Signa Mountain fullback James McClellan and South Pittsburg linebacker Kahlil Mitchell.
"It's a great chance for these kids to play with some other players that they've played against or heard about," said Gatewood, who was an assistant two years ago. "As coaches, we love getting to work with some of these kids we've heard about or read about but not seen also. The kids are competitors, so they like to measure themselves against some of the best players from around the state.
"It's also a great opportunity for some colleges to come in, mostly NAIA, and watch these kids. It broadens their marketability and hopefully will help some of them earn a scholarship to play at the next level."
The game will be shown locally on MyTV Chattanooga and will be streamed live via rivalrythursday.com.
The series is tied 3-3, the East all-stars having won last year 41-20.
Aside from the game, the 88 players making up the two rosters also participated in the football combine, where officials from Elite Athletic Events put players through multiple training stations including the bench press, vertical leap and 40-yard dash as well as various agility drills. The results from that combine will be shared with college coaches recruiting the athletes.