GAINESVILLE -- Typically the high school football campaign ends the first week in December, but the 2013 season has been extended in Gainesville-Hall County for the inaugural East-West Classic, an all-star game coordinated by Gainesville/Hall County Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The first-ever East-West Classic, presented by Wells Fargo, will be held Friday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. on Bobby Gruhn Field at Gainesville's City Park.
According to FCA Area Director Jason Lester, the game will feature two teams comprised of football players from 10 area high schools. East Hall coach Bryan Gray will coach the "East" team, while Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell will guide the "West" squad.
Teams will comprise 35 players each -- two quarterbacks, three running backs, three receivers, two tight ends, seven offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, four linebackers, six defensive backs, one kicker and one punter. Five senior players will be selected by each school, with the remaining spots to be filled by the best players available.
Full team rosters will be selected and announced by the participating schools' head coaches on Nov. 15.
There will also be an all-star senior marching band -- selected from all 10 schools -- performance at half-time and all-star cheerleading squads.
Lester notes that the game is another way of fulfilling the mission of FCA.
"The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is all about ministering to athletes and coaches and all those that are influenced by them. The FCA East/West Football Classic helps accomplish that and more," said Lester.
Clint Fair, Area Representative for FCA, said the East-West Classic give seniors from area football teams a chance to play in a high level football game with other seniors from the area.
"We believe this type of experience can make a difference in their lives eternally and open the door for them be looked at by many different college football recruiters. The type of kid we are looking at to participate is one who is getting it done off the field when it comes to character and integrity as well as on the field," said Fair.
Lester said this first East-West Classic won't be the last.
"It is truly a community event that we pray will become a tradition that will impact Gainesville/Hall County for many years to come," Lester said.
-- NOTE: Longtime and distinguished Gainesville High public address announcer Walt Snelling will announce the contest, as his final game before retirement.
2013 EAST-WEST CLASSIC
-- WHAT: High school All-Star football game
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20
-- WHERE: Bobby Gruhn Field at Gainesville City Park
-- SCHOOLS TAKING PART: Two 35-member teams will be selected from 10 area schools.
-- EAST SQUAD MEMBERS: Flowery Branch, Johnson, East Hall, Banks County, Riverside Military Academy
-- WEST SQUAD MEMBERS: West Hall, Chestatee, Gainesville, North Hall, Lakeview Academy