The San Antonio Area All-Star Game on Jan. 5 was memorable as three Atascosa County senior football stars were part of a Gold team that came back for a 33-29 win.
The Gold team, which included Pleasanton’s Johnny Zamora and Hunter Norment and Charlotte’s Mark Gaitan, found itself trailing 29-21 in the last two minutes after leading most of the game.
“It was fun to play with the guys from all the different schools in San Antonio. It’s cool to see their different speeds and athleticism,” Zamora said.
Norment was at right tackle during the first of the Gold team’s comeback drives.
He made a key block on a first-down run near midfield a few plays before a touchdown pass brought the score to 29-27.
“It’s always fun when you can come back and get the win, but it was a hard-fought game. Both teams did really well,” Norment said. “We played as a team.”
After the two-point conversion attempt failed, the Gold team successfully went for an onside kick and scored the winning touchdown pass with 18 seconds left.
One play after Gaitan forced a Black rusher out of bounds with 3:38 left in the third quarter, the Gold team picked up a turnover and took it back for a touchdown, gaining its biggest lead at 21-12.
“It felt good getting my name called out there and letting everyone know I’m representing my town,” said Gaitan, who played safety and special teams in the game. “It feels really, really good to feel the experience of this. It’s awesome.”
Carlos Reyes, a Poteet resident who attends Central Catholic, had three tackles as a linebacker for the Black team.
Zamora led two drives in the first half at quarterback, and did something he had never done before — block on special teams.
“It’s fun stepping up and throwing the ball. It’s fun to actually go out and hit somebody,” he said.
For Norment, it was an opportunity to play for his uncle, Mike, who coaches at Alamo Heights.
More than 100 players from the San Antonio area played in the game, and they practiced throughout the week leading up to the game, working on teambuilding and plays, among other things.
“We just went over basic stuff and became family really fast,” he said.
Norment and Zamora said they had only played against a few of the players before and they met many people who could be connections in the future.