NORTH / SOUTH ROTARY ALL STAR FOOTBALL GAME HISTORY
In 1984 the Avenal Rotary Club decided to start a Football All-Star Football Game for the smaller high schools. It was called “North/South Rotary Football All-Star Game”. There were 13 high schools on each side. The game was played at Avenal High School with over 1,000 fans. The 1985 game was played at West Hills JC . We had over 2,000 fans. A total of ten Rotary Clubs supported these two great events. The game was moved to Chowchilla in 1986. The Chowchilla Rotary Club was the sponsoring Rotary Club. The game was still called,” North/South Rotary All Star Football Game”
In 1986 we had fourteen High Schools on each side and sixteen Rotary Clubs supporting the game. Currently, 38 Rotary Clubs up and down the Central Valley that could support this game. Of these 38 Rotary Clubs we have 34 Rotary Clubs that really support this great event financially. Rotary Clubs support the game by buying a full page ad ($200.00) and/or support the scholarship program ($175.00). This year 25 Rotary Clubs purchased both packages. Our goal is to get all of them to support the game by purchasing both packages.
Over the years, student athletes from 62 different high schools have earned the All-Star title. 31 schools on the North Team and 31 schools on the South Team . The North schools are in the San-Joaquin Section and the South schools are in the Central Section .
The game is a fund raiser, but more than that, it is a chance to highlight and acknowledge the talented students that live in the Valley. The proceeds raised from this premier event have funded, a total of 294 ($1,000.00) scholarships since 1992. Any boy or girl student, attending a participating school can apply for a scholarship. Several of the All-Stars have earned the additional honor of being a scholarship winner. Participants in the game and scholarship program have gone on to become Doctors, Pharmacists, Business Managers, Teachers, Coaches and even Professional Athletes. In seven Superbowl Games we had a total of five players that have played in our N/S Rotary All-Star Game.
The 2017 game was held at Veterans Stadium, Golden Valley High School in Merced on Saturday , June 24th, 2017. The weather was a 100 degrees , this effected our crowd , we had about 1,000 plus fans . Still a very exciting game, the NORTH won 35-21. North’s offense started rolling in the middle of the second half. The SOUTH played strong offense in the first half but just couldn’t get it going the second half because of turnovers.
The banquet was held on June 23rd at Golden Valley High School. We honored 34 scholarship winners and a total of 96 football players. We had about 400 in attendance and the Rotarians that worked the banquet did a great job. That 34 winners received a $1,000 scholarship. We had a total of 94 applicants for these scholarships. Our goal next year is to give away 34+
$ 1,000.00 scholarships. The 2018 scholarship application will be on this website in January 2O18.
The 33rd game will be played on Friday June 23, 2018 at Veterans Stadium in Merced. Check the Google Map on the Map & Directions page for directions to the stadium.