The Senior All Star Classic had it’s beginning twenty eight years ago. The first East/West All Star Classic was played in the year of 1991. Mr. Ed Fifer was very instrumental in organizing and initiating this event. Mr. Fifer had a dream and a vision that would present an opportunity that would showcase the football athletes and their talents to other parts of the world.
Mr. Fifer was confronted with many obstacles in his efforts to organize this event. The biggest hurdle that he had to challenge was presented by the University Interscholastic League ( UIL ).
The UIL challenged every organizational thought and plan that Ed Fifer presented. Ed would not give up.
Following are several obstacles that was placed on the All Star Classic committee:
- The teams would not be able to use any high school facilities
- The teams would not be able to use any high school equipment
- Active high school coaches would not be able to coach the teams
- Athletes eligibility for the remainder of their senior year of high school was in question
- Financing the game was a huge hurdle. Mr. Fifer was so passionate about the game and determined to succeed with his vision. He secured a personal loan in order to finance the game. He had to borrow enough money to cover the purchase of football equipment for ninety two football athletes; paying the officials, and paying UTEP to host the game.Uniforms also had to be purchased.
My first year of coaching the classic was in 1993. I have dedicated twenty five years to the game. My experience has been very rewarding and enjoyable. I have had the opportunity to coach and hopefully impact 1150 football athletes that were selected and participated in the game over those twenty five years. Also, I enjoyed coaching with some of the most successful coaches in the city. As the Head coach, and leader of these teams over the years, I placed lots of emphasis on respect, high expectations, professionalism, morals and values, life skills, perseverance and self dedication. I wanted these young men to focus on life after football.
Ed Fifer and Rick Hernandez have done a marvelous job of organizing and making improvements that positively impacted the game over the years. Ed Stansbury, who is now the director of operations of the classic participated in the game in his senior year of high school. I had the opportunity to coach him in the game. Ed is doing a wonderful job of implementing various changes to improve the quality of the game.
Since the initiation of the game, it has improved tremendously. The following changes have had a huge impact:
- High school stadiums, practice fields, etc. can be used for practices.
- Athletes can use their high school equipment for practice and the game.
- The teams can be coached by currently employed coaches
- A mentor program which pairs a senior all star player with a junior all star to spend an entire day with each other.
- All participating athletes must have taken either the ACT or SAT in order to have an opportunity to play in the game.
- Athletes have an opportunity to be awarded a scholarship
- An organized scholarship banquet
- A Combine is organized to present opportunities for local senior high school athletes to present their talent and ability to college coaches with the possibility of acquiring an athletic scholarship.
- Uniforms are much improved.
- A college information night to inform parents, guardians, and athletes about college life and challenges is in place.
- A very informative Web Site has been established.
- A draft has been implemented to aid in making the game more competitive. Due to this change, the name of the game is now the Red Storm and Blue Thunder.
As you can see, the game has advanced in several ways over the past twenty seven years. Athletes participating in the game today were not born when the game was initiated. There are many other aspects of the game that plays a very important role in the success of the classic.
Senior Band members, JROTC, Cheer Leaders, Choir, Dance, trainers, mascots, sports media and managers all play a role.
God willing, the Senior All Star Classic will be around for many years to come.