When players from the 10-under Scenic City Stars football team from East Ridge, Tenn. walk out of the tunnel at the Georgia Dome Saturday onto the playing surface their eyes will be open wide.
The Scenic City Stars will have the opportunity to play in the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl against the East Metro (Atlanta) Titans squad coached by event originator and sponsor, Dr. David L. Scott. Kick-off is set for 12 p.m.
The Scenic City Stars are coached Jamey Jones and the players participate in the Scenic City Youth Football League, which includes more than 80 teams from both Georgia and Tennessee. The Stars are comprised of players representing both states.
"As we were winding down the 2013 football season a lot of the kids were getting a little tired and looking forward to their next sports season, whether it was basketball, wrestling or whatever," Jones said. "But when we got the invitation to play in the Dome and I announced it to the players, we could see the excitement in their eyes to play a little bit longer."
Jones said the players immediately began to ask questions.
"They wanted to know if we were going to play on the same field as the Atlanta Falcons, and isn't that where they play the SEC championship," he said. "Needless to say, the boys are very excited. As far as an opportunity for these young kids, this might be the only chance some of them get to play on the big stage and hopefully it will inspire some of them to stay with football and play at the next levels."
Jones believes he has some players who have a chance to one day play in college and maybe even professional football if they continue to progress.
"We have some very talented kids and it's been a honor to be able to coach them and watch them grow," Jones said. "I know one day I will be watching football on Saturdays or Sundays and there will be a couple of them I will be able to say that I coached in youth football."
The players aren't the only ones excited about the Scenic City Stars playing in the Coalition Bowl.
"This opportunity is exciting for the coaches as well to be able to coach these boys on the sidelines of the Georgia Dome," Jones said. "It's going to be a new challenge, not only to get them ready to play a game, but to keep them focused on the game instead of the thousands of fans they will be playing in front of."
Jones is joined on the Stars coaching staff by Todd Mirabella, Ted Pritchett. Daniel Eaton, and Chris Hedrick.
The Scenic City Stars include C.J. Robertson, Nic Mirabella, Bryce James, Denver Newman, Troy Williams, Jamir Eaton, Brody Cobb, Tyler Pritchett, Hunter Jones, Jacob Bridgeman, Zane Penney, Jake Davey, Wyatt Standridge, Cody Thomas, Carson Hedrick, Mathew Smith, and Scott Clinton.
The 10-under game will be one of nine youth and high school All-Star games slated in the Dome on Saturday.
The North Georgia High School Senior All-Stars will face a team from Central Georgia at 1:30 p.m., while the East Metro Atlanta graduating seniors will face a squad from West Metro Atlanta at approximately 7:45 PM.
Tickets are $25 each and good for all nine games.
For more information, log on to dlscottcoalitionbowl.com or contact Stump Martin at 423-421-2595.
Schedule of games:
8 a.m. - (6U) Atlanta Vikings vs. Eastway Cherokees
9 a.m. - (12U) North Henry Tigers vs. Athens Rams
10 a.m. - (8U) Sandtown Vikings vs. Decatur Army
11 a.m. - (10U) Central DeKalb Jaguars vs. Edgewood Red Devils
12 p.m. - (10U) East Metro Titans vs. Scenic City Stars
1:30 p.m. - North Senior All Stars vs. Central Senior All Stars
4 p.m. - Atlanta Junior All Stars vs. Augusta Junior All Stars
6:30 p.m. - (12U) Welcome All Panthers vs. Jonesboro Ducks
7:45 pm - East Metro Atlanta Senior All Stars vs. West Metro Atlanta Senior All Stars
Turman to be honored on Saturday
Creekside High School football player DeAntre Turman, who died from injuries suffered making a tackle during a preseason scrimmage game in August, will be honored at the Coalition Bowl on Saturday.
Turman will be remembered at the halftime of the 4 p.m. Junior All-Star Game.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound cornerback was one of the top prospects in the Class of 2015 and had made a verbal commitment to Kentucky according to his family.
Known to many as "Tre Tre", Turman was an extremely talented player who made a tackle during the scrimmage against Banneker and never got back up.
Scott said he wanted to make sure that Turman was honored at the event.
"He was a great kid that excelled despite adversity in his life," he said. "He was a competitor and he always gave my teams fits...and I had some very good teams."
According to news reports, Turman's mother died when he was just four years old and he was raised by Tarsha Keller.