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June 19, 2021

FOOTBALL: Five locals chosen for 38th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic

When mentioned together, football and the summer months in Santa Clara County, one thought often sneaks to the forefront: The Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game.
The yearly send-off for the area’s top outgoing seniors is a tradition steeped with history. And as of Saturday, five more locals are now included on a long list of past participants.
The rosters for the 38th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic were announced by The Rotary Club of Almaden Valley over the weekend, and a handful of Gilroyans will suit up for the South team and honorary head coach Norm Brown of Independence High School.
Christopher High, which became eligible to have its players selected this year, will send Dillon Babb, Bryant Cid and Marcus Harrell. Gilroy High’s Niko Fortino and Jourdan Soares were also
Harrell was the Monterey Bay League Most Valuable Player in 2011 and caught 52 passes for 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns for the league champion Cougars.
Cid led the MBL with nine interceptions en route to securing a second straight Defensive Back of the Year award. He was also fourth on the team with 86 tackles and second in receiving yards with 880.
Defensive end Babb, a first-team all- league choice, recorded a league-high 12 sacks and was third on the Cougars with 104 tackles. The Wedemeyer will be Babb’s third senior all-star game this season.
“Those kids deserve everything they are getting,” CHS head coach Tim Pierleoni said. “They have worked hard and have done a lot for the program, for the community and for the school in general. It’s a real honor.”
Pierleoni will assist Brown with the South squad.
“The thing that is great for me is that I get to coach all those guys one more time,” he said. “And that’s kind of cool.”
Gilroy High’s dynamic quarterback-receiver combination of Fortino, a Tri-County Athletic League first-team selection, and Soares, the TCAL MVP, has one final chance to shine together at the prep level.
The duo was responsible for 76 receptions last season, and Soares accounted for 1,477 of Fortino’s 3,114 passing yards. Soares caught 15 of Fortino’s (31 total touchdown passes) offerings for touchdowns.
“Both are really looking forward to being in another game together,” GHS head coach Steven Lo said. “They are excited to showcase themselves one more time for Gilroy High School.”
This year’s game is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium in San Jose.

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