TEMPE – There’s the Senior Bowl. There’s the East-West Shrine Game. And now there’s the Eastham Energy College All Star game to be played at Sun Devil Stadium on January 23, 2011; the first time a college all star football game has been held in Tempe.
The first annual game was founded by AZ Sports Group, LLC and will feature 90 players whose college eligibility has run out.
“If you look at the tradition and what you’ve done in the past, it only made sense to bring something that’s never been here before,” said Jerry Ippoliti, founding member of AZ Sports Group.
The teams will be divided geographically by East and West with one of the teams called “Stars” and the other team “Stripes” to give it a military theme.
Former Texas Tech coach and founding memeber of AZ Sports Group Mike Leach said the game will give the players a chance to showcase themselves for the NFL.
“Any exposure that can be provided to a young man as far as going to the next level is valuable. There’s a void in the market now and we certainly have something to offer,” said Leach.
This will be a week long event according to Ippoliti with the players arriving on Monday and practicing Tuesday through Friday.
Daron Roberts, assistant secondary coach with the Detroit Lions and Joe Moglia, the ex-CEO recently named head coach of the Virginia UFL team, will be the coaches. Their staffs will include a local junior college and high school coach from here in the Valley.
Tickets will be $8 for students, $24 for midfield and $30 for suite and half of all proceeds will benefit local charities, including Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors.
Eastham Energy has given a two year committment to be the title sponsor.