A legendary Orange County football player will be on the sideline as team captain when eleven local football players take the field in the Southeast Texas Ford Dealers All-Star Classic at Lamar’s Provost/Umphrey Stadium on Saturday, June 11. Kick-off is 7 p.m.
Former Texas Longhorn two-time All-American Steve Worster has been named East Team Honorary Captain. The East Team includes recently graduated football players from Bridge City, West Orange-Stark, Orangefield, Vidor, Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Deweyville.

The second annual East versus West all-star game is hosted by the Southeast Texas Coaches Association. West Orange-Stark coach Mark Foreman, president of the SETCA, began working on the idea of an all-star football game nearly 12 years ago. The inaugural game was held last year with West defeating East, 14-13, in the final seconds of the contest.

Proceeds from the all-star game go toward scholarships and other charitable donations. An East Team and West Team MVP each receive a $500 scholarships while players from each team vote for a teammate to receive a $1,000 scholarship. The two $1,000 scholarships will be given in the name of WOS quarterback Reggie Garrett Jr. and longtime Newton head football coach Curtis Barbay. Garrett and Barbay both passed away during the 2010 football season.

Worster put Bridge City on the map in the late 1960s as fullback in Darrell Royal’s famed “Wishbone” offense. With Worster in the backfield the Longhorns won back-to-back NCAA National Football Championships (1969-70). Worster was a three time All-Southwest Conference selection who finished 4th in the Heisman Trophy voting for the 1970 season. He was also voted 1970 Texas Amateur Athlete of the Year by Texas Sports Writers Association. Before then he was a Bridge City Cardinal who was named a high school All-American his senior year following the 1966 Class-3A State Football Championship.

“Coach Foreman thought it would be a great idea if each team had an honorary captain that represented some of the local state championship teams,” said Josh Smalley, Bridge City offensive coordinator and a coach for the East Team All-Stars,“It didn’t take long for Steve Worster to come to mind to represent the East Team, which Bridge City is a part of.”

With Worster on the sideline three generations of Cardinals will be represented. Smalley was also a Cardinal football player in the early 1990s. The third generation is Bridge City football all-stars Shane Stankus and Thomas Luce who graduated last week.

Orangefield trainer, Melissa Pipins was selected as trainer for the East Team that includes Bobcat all-stars Josh Shores and Logan Moss.

Representing the West Orange-Stark Mustangs is Justin Petry, Wilson Washington and Donavan Rubin. All-Star players from Vidor are Joe Reed and Blake Tinkle. Representing the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears is Zach Sonnier. Dewyeville’s Trey Craft is also a player for the East Team all-stars.

According to Smalley players are nominated by their coaches. Class 5A teams can nominate three players, Class 4A and Class 3A teams, two players, and Class 2A, Class 1A and private schools get one player. The coaching staff is selected by the SETCA and the East/West coaches select the players.

The East Team is made up of players from Hardin-Jefferson, Nederland, Jasper, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Evadale, KIrbyville, Silsbee, Beaumont Legacy, Woodville, Port Arthur Memorial, Orangefield, Deweyville, Newton, Warren, Sabine Pass, Buna, Port Neches-Groves, Hamshire-Fannett, West Orange-Stark, Bridge City, Beaumont Central and High Island.

Cheerleading squads for the East Team is the West Orange-Stark and Buna cheerleaders. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Honey Bears drill team will perform for East.

Head coaches for the East Team are all from Nederland. Larry Neumann is head coach, Monte Barrow is offensive coordinator and Delbert Spell is defensive coordinator. Also on the coaching staff with Smalley are Kip McFarland of P.A. Memorial, William Mallette, Deweyville, Bradley Allison, Beaumont Central and Justin Charrier, High Island.

The West Team is made up of players from Anahuac, Splendora, Coldspring, Cleveland, West Brook, Hardin, Huffman, Chester, Ozen, Diboll, Lumberton, Cleveland, Liberty, East Chambers, Barbers Hill, Crosby, Colmesneil, Kountze, Tarkington, Kelley, West Hardin and Livingston.

Practise began Tuesday at Lamar University. Seating for the East Team is on the East side of the Lamar’s Provost/Umphrey Stadium on Saturday. Tickets will be available at the gate.

“To be able to represent Bridge City in this game and to show people what kind of program we have, what kind of kids we have, and what kind of history we have is very important to me,” Smalley said, “It is very exciting trio be able to share this opportunity with these guys. I have known Shane and Thomas for along time and I can’t think of two better people to represent our program than them. Who better to represent our history than Steve Worster.”

About Mark Dunn