Kevin Williams talks to players playing in the Shore Sports Network All Shore Gridiron Classic (Townsquare Media NJ)

Certainly things have changed since the first All Shore Football Classic was played in 1978 including the name, location and even the month it’s played in.

However the original concept remains the same and that is to give football players from the shore one more opportunity to represent their high schools before they move on to college or other things in their life.

Now known as the Shore Sports Network All Shore Gridiron Classic, presented by InVision Eye Care, the game is set for Thursday, July 12th at Brick Memorial High School.

Last night most of the players from the Ocean County and Monmouth County All Stars gathered at Shore Regional High School for an organizational meeting and it was also an opportunity for our Shore Sports Network to congratulate them on being part of a 41-year tradition.

None of them and few coaches would remember that first game played on the infield at Wall Stadium on August 18, 1978 before a record crowd of over 8,000.  Coached by the legendary Warren Wolf, Ocean County won that inaugural meeting 21-7 as Toms River South’s George Scribellito earned his way into All Shore lore by intercepting a lateral and returning it 50 yards for the clinching touchdown in the 4th quarter.

After being welcomed by game chairman Dom Lepore last night the teams split up to meet their coaches and go over practice schedules and more.  Justin Fumando of Central is the Ocean County head coach while Long Branch’s Dan George will lead the Monmouth County squad while also being inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame at halftime.

Joining him in that ceremony will be Joe and Hugh Boyd who will be honored posthumously for their contributions to shore football: Joe as the coach at Central and Hugh (Junie) for his many years as a football official.

A twist to this year’s game is the inclusion of cheerleaders, a group of All Stars of their own under the direction of Manchester Township cheerleading coach Christine Wolfman.  Many of them were in attendance last night and like the players and coaches enjoyed sandwiches provided by Mulberry Street in Brick.

For rosters and updates on this year’s game visit shoresportsnetwork.com