East County players prove a ‘hit’ in Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic


East County athletes made a huge impact in last Friday’s 23rd annual Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic — a 41-7 victory by the South team against the North squad.

East County athletes made a huge impact in last Friday’s 23rd annual Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic — a 41-7 victory by the South team against the North squad.

The game, which took place at San Diego Mesa College and benefitted the High School Sports Association of San Diego County, served as a final showcase in front of family and friends for the county’s graduated seniors as they head off to their respective colleges.

“Any time you know you’re going to play in your last game, it’s emotional,” said Valhalla High School alum Ramsey Romano, who threw two touchdown passes to lead the South team to the lopsided victory.

Romano, a multi-sport standout for the Norsemen, is headed to the University of Michigan to play baseball. However, he also proved he could play football by earning first team all-San Diego Section honors last fall.

The 6-foot-3, 190 pound Romano, who served as the South team’s offensive captain, passed for 3,415 yards and 30 touchdowns to lead Valhalla to the semifinals of last year’s Division II football playoffs.

During the spring baseball season, he hit .356 with two home runs and 15 RBI while playing shortstop.

The Chicago Cubs made him a late round selection in June’s amateur draft; he ultimately elected to play college baseball.

Both of Romano’s scoring passes in last Friday’s high school all-star showcase went to fellow Norseman grad Kevin Mills.

Mills opened scoring in the contest with an 11-yard TD catch and later hauled in a 13-yard scoring strike.

Helix alums Rocky Fuga and Amu Milo, Steele Canyon grad Lonnie Tuff and Grossmont’s Trent Galkoski also figured strongly in the South’s victory — its third consecutive in the series and seventh in the last 10 meetings.

Fuga registered three sacks in the game while Milo, a 290-pound lineman, scored on a six-yard run to boost the South to a 21-0 halftime lead. 

Tuff closed out scoring in the game on a 43-yard run in the fourth quarter while  Galkoski had one interception — one of four picks overall by the South squad.

The South team registered five takeaways overall in the game.

Fuga is headed to Southwestern College along with Mills. SWC coach Ed Carberry called Fuga a “hitting machine.”

On one play in last Friday’s game, a hard hit by Fuga knocked off the helmet of North running back Deon Dickey of La Costa Canyon.

Romano appeared in four series during last Friday’s game, all of which resulted in scores by the South team. He finished the contest with 158 passing yards in sharing signal-calling duties with Mater Dei Catholic’s Joseph Legerrette-Luke and Hoover’s Dionte Whitfield.

Besides throwing the game’s first touchdown pass, Romano set up the South’s second score on a seven-yard run and later tossed a 58-yard breakaway pass to Madison’s Lee Walker to set up the South’s third touchdown drive.

“Ramsey is such a natural athlete,” Valhalla football coach Charles Bussey said. “Even though he hadn’t picked up a football since last season, he was still able to sling it down field. He’s going to play baseball in college and I’m happy for him but he could easily have played football if he wanted to.”

Mills caught 59 passes for 762 yards last fall. Bussey feels Mills has yet to reach his potential.

“Kevin continues to improve,” Bussey said. “He was hampered by injuries last season. Now he’s healthy and lifting (weights) again.”

Overall, 16 Grossmont Conference players were picked to play in last Friday’s all-star tilt.  Also selected to play for the South team were Helix defensive back Marquiz Powell, Grossmont receiver Jeff Bowers, West Hills defensive end Jordan Arnold, Grossmont linebacker Tigran Gumushyan, Mt. Miguel linebacker Sonny Samoata, El Capitan linebacker Michael Nuzzo, West Hills defensive tackle Kevin Lopez, Grossmont offensive lineman Joe Zizzo, Mt. Miguel lineman Josh Tausaga and Monte Vista defensive end Mesai Small.

Legerrette-Luke (five-yard run) and Eastlake’s Blake Wilson (five-yard scoring pass reception from Whitfield) rounded out the scoring for the South team.

Orange Glen’s Austin Early hit El Camino’s Arrion Howard on a 28-yard scoring pass for the North team’s lone score in the game. El Camino fullback Micah Sua rushed for 78 yards to earn North MVP honors.

For the South defensively, Lincoln’s Ta’Jon Mondy, Castle Park’s Aaron Leon and Point Loma’s Jamal Agnew each had interceptions while Patrick Henry’s Louis Olmeda recovered a fumble. 

Madison’s Anthony Herrera finished the game with five extra-point conversions.