When it comes to local sporting events in the summer nothing matches the tradition of the annual football game between recent high school graduates from Ocean and Monmouth counties.

The first one was played in August of 1978 before a record crowd of over 8,000 at Wall Stadium which was not an ideal setting for a football game. There have been changes over the years, including the name of the game but it remains a summer staple and the 40th edition of the All-Shore Gridiron Classic is set for tonight at Shore Regional’s Robert E. Feeney Field with kickoff at 7 p.m.  The game is presented by the Shore Football Coaches Foundation.

The Ocean County squad coached by Lakewood’s LJ Clark is looking for a record fourth straight victory and will likely count heavily on Central’s record-breaking running back Mike Bickford who is headed to East Stroudsburg University.  Brick’s Anthony Costanza will get the start at quarterback and if he does go to the air will likely target Lakewood’s Adi Palmer and Hayden Frey of Point Boro.  Leading the Ocean County defense will be linebackers Pete LaQuaglia (TR North), Dean Helstowski (Brick) and Nick Page (TR South).

St. John Vianney’s Derek Sininsky is the Monmouth County head coach and he’ll start his own Matt DeGennaro at quarterback whose offensive weapons include running back Cameron Caorsi of Marlboro and receivers Ahlonte Hair (Freehold Boro) and Damaso Jaime (Manasquan).  The defense is anchored by standouts like Kyle Dallicardillo of Wall, Maxx Imsho of Middletown South and Manasquan’s Adam Schreck.

Before the All Shore Classic kicks off Central will face Long Branch in the finals of the 7-on-7 tournament featuring current high school players.  At halftime legendary assistant coaches Bob Spada of Brick and Butch Britton of Matawan will be inducted into the SFCF Hall of Fame.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on Beach Radio 1160 & 1310AM and for rosters and game previews visit shoresportsnetwork.com.