When Salem coach John Starr moved from head coach last year to a director of the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl All-Star game this year, he didn't look far to nominate the East Metro coach.
Heritage coach Chad Frazier was given the job, as the east side has been practicing at Heritage all week long in preparation for the game today at the Georgia Dome at 7 p.m.
Frazier brought with him two assistant coaches in defensive coordinator Jason Miska, who will serve in the same capacity with the All-Star team and, Chris Pack, who is the defensive line coach. The three Heritage coaches join three coaches from Eastside, and one each from Loganville, Tucker and Union Grove on the East Metro staff.
More noticeably, though, for Heritage will be its four players suiting up on Saturday.
Among them is Chase Alford, who was selected as Region 8-AAAAA Defensive Player of the Year Thursday.
The Coalition Bowl is one of two All-Star games for Alford following his senior season, with the other being the GACA North-South All-Star game in Columbus on Dec. 29.
"What an honor for a guy to finish his high school career," Frazier said. "It's just a testament to his hard work and his success on the field. We're all proud of him."
Alford is one of three Patriots' linebackers on the All-Star team, along with Dominique Packer and Chartivoes Lundy.
Packer is a two-time All-Region player, and might make it three in a row when the honors are given out this week.
"He's a great guy who comes to work every day with a great work ethic and attitude," Frazier said.
Lundy fractured his fibula early on in the season but was able to come back to post a bid for the All-Star appearance.
"It's a great opportunity for him to come back after being injured," Frazier said.
Michael Raiford was named an All-Star from Heritage's defensive line, where he played his first season just a year ago. Raiford has now gone from a tuba player in the Heritage band to an All-Star in two years, recruited by many Division I schools.
"What a chance for him to experience probably high school football at the highest level with all the talent on the field," Frazier said. "He's had a great week of practice, and definitely belongs to be out there because he plays very well."
Three Salem players are also on the East Metro team, two on offense and one on defense.
Damian Gordon, who played quarterback for the Salem Seminoles, will be a running back today, along with Ahmad Mitchell.
Salem linebacker Anton Leonard joins his two teammates on the East Metro team, which is drawn from players from DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton, Henry, Walton and Clarke counties.