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Football in July

Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game – promises to have a distinct local flavor.

Los Altos High coach Trevor Pruitt guides the North team that includes nine players with ties to the area. They will take on the South in a game that showcases standout players from Santa Clara County who graduated this year. Kick off is scheduled 7:30 p.m. at San Jose City College, 2100 Moorpark Ave.

The North roster includes quarterback Lambie Lanman, receiver Victor Ruiz, defensive tackle Ofisa Pati and linebacker Josh Williams of Los Altos High; utility player Anthony Avery and fullback Jake Butters of Mountain View High; halfback Alex Andrighetto and tackle Ryan Popolizio of St. Francis High; and Gunn High safety Sean Lydster, a Los Altos Hills resident.

Pruitt has coached most of these players before – he was an assistant at Mountain View before taking over at Los Altos last year.

“It’s great to coach my guys one more time, and to coach Butters and Avery again,” he said.

Pruitt – who took Los Altos from 0-10 to 8-2 – added that it’s a “huge honor” to lead the North. Limited to only 10 practices, Pruitt won’t devise an elaborate game plan for his offense.

“We’ll probably have a handful of plays,” he said. “We have to keep it basic and let the athletes make the plays.”

Athletes such as quarterback Lanman, who is headed to Yale University. Lanman is elated to be among the participants in the all-star classic.

“I’m honored to be a part of it,” he said. “I’m super excited. It’s a great game that gets the community involved.”

Lanman’s arsenal of offensive weapons will include Los Altos teammate Ruiz, a nimble receiver who, like Lanman, earned all-league honors last fall. Lanman can also hand the ball off to Andrighetto, an all-league halfback who helped St. Francis reach the Central Coast Section Division II final last year. He plans to play for the University of Redlands in the fall.

Expect to see Butters – who Pruitt described as a “tough player” – open holes for Andrighetto tonight, along with sturdy linemen such as Los Altos’ Pati (6 feet, 285 pounds) and St. Francis’ Popolizio (6-7, 290), both headed to the College of San Mateo.

“Having the offense we’ll have on the field and the size of offensive line, it’s going to be amazing,” Pruitt said.

Don’t be surprised if Pruitt throws in a trick play or two – especially with utility player Avery at his disposal. The speedy Avery was a standout receiver at Mountain View before transitioning to quarterback last season.

While Pruitt would of course like the North to win, he intends to have a good time regardless.

“It will be fun to see so many great players out there,” he said. “It’s going to be excellent. I expect a great showing from both teams.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Locally, tickets are available at Old Republic Title Company, 167 S. San Antonio Road, Suite 5, Los Altos.

For more information, visit youthclassic.org.

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