The area’s soccer stars shine at the high school All-Star Game

Wellington High School’s Ryan Anthony was the America’s offensive MVP. Photo by Christian Proscia

On Saturday, December 17, King’s Academy was the site of another high school football game. It was Palm Beach County and Martin County High School’s annual all-star football game. The game featured the top high school football players from Palm Beach County and Martin County. Players were divided into two teams – American and National.

Aside from playing the game in the western communities, the two head coaches also came from local schools this year. The head coach of the American team was Mario Jackson, the coach from Berean Christian School, while the head coach of the national team was Wellington High School’s Danny Mendoza.

Both coaches were impressed by their players’ team-first attitude. Jackson had 43 players on his team, while Mendoza’s team had 45 players, including seven seniors from Wellington High School.

“It was incredible,” said Jackson, who served as an assistant coach in the game in 2017. “The kids’ buy-in was automatic. They showed a thirst for knowledge and their footballing acumen was high enough to suggest ideas in critical situations. I feel honored and humbled just to have the opportunity to be a part of this great event.”

Mendoza had a similar experience as the head coach at this year’s All-Star Game sponsored by the law firm Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath.

“The exercises were great!” said Mendoza. “It’s difficult to get all the kids from across the county there and do other sports with them, but we were able to put together three great days of training.”

To bring parity into the game and make it competitive, Jackson and Mendoza selected players for their respective teams in the form of a draft. As a result, some schools’ high school teammates were on opposite teams.

Teams for both the national and American teams were selected from the following high schools: American Heritage, Atlantic, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Clewiston, Forest Hill, Inlet Grove, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Boca Raton, Palm Beach Lakes , Lake Worth, Pahokee, Palm Beach Central, Park Vista, Pope John Paul II, Royal Palm Beach, Glades Day, TKA, Suncoast, Santaluces, Cardinal Newman, Boca Christian, Jupiter Christian, Spanish River, South Fork, Fort Pierce Westwood , Martin County, Berean Christian, Somerset Academy Canyons, Wellington and William T. Dwyer.

Practices were held at Lake Lytal Park in West Palm Beach in the days leading up to the game. On the field, the American team beat the national team 20:10.

At the end of the game, defensive and offensive MVPs were named for each team. Wellington quarterback Ryan Anthony, Team America’s starting quarterback, was his team’s offensive MVP, while Team America’s defensive MVP was Matt Boylan, a defensive lineman from Boca Raton. Saint Andrew’s School quarterback Jacob Cashion, the national team’s starting quarterback, was that team’s offensive MVP, while the national team’s defensive MVP was Mi’Kel Hendrix, a defensive end of Atlantic.

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