The Newton, Alcovy and Eastside football teams all reached the playoffs in the 2012 season, and the efforts of the players who helped to get them there will be rewarded Saturday.
Four area players, one each from Alcovy and Newton and two from Eastside, have been selected to play in the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl Senior metro Atlanta East vs. West All-Star game at the Georgia Dome Saturday.
David Rash was selected from Alcovy, where he was a leader on the offensive line that helped pave the way for the 1,193 yards and six touchdowns rushing.
"He deserves it," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "He's been a four-year starter for me and one of the leaders on the offensive line."
Rash was also named to the Region 2-AAAAAA All-Region team this week, his second straight first-team honor.
He will be among such offensive line All-Stars as South Florida committed and Tri-Cities lineman Dominique Threatt.
Rash isn't the only Newton County lineman who will be taking to the gridiron Saturday as the Newton Rams' selection will lineup on the defensive side.
Treyvon Richardson was nominated to the team after tallying 38 tackles, including 5 ½ for loss and four sacks on the 2012 season.
"It's definitely a great accolade for him being able to participate in the All-Star game," Newton coach Cortez Allen said. "He was a second-team All-Region selection for us and did an outstanding job for us. I'm looking for him to have a big game during the All-Star game."
While Richardson's Newton defensive line and All-Region contemporary Kingsley Ejike wasn't named an All-Star, Richardson will join Western Kentucky committed Marcus Adams of Tri-Cities on the talented line.
Another talented lineman is Eastside's Antonius Sims, who was recently named the Region 8-AAAA Defensive Player of the Year.
Sims finished 2012 with 39 tackles, including 12 for loss and four sacks in an injury-shortened season. The senior defensive end also forced two fumbles, recovered two, including one for a touchdown and pressured the quarterback four times.
"He's well respected in the area, not just in this county, but all over the east metro area. As soon as I nominated him, I think it was a no-brainer for them to take him," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. "From what I understand is going on in practice, he's definitely holding his own and having a hard time being blocked by the offensive lineman."
Eastside's other representative is kicker Colton Smith, who had a big year setting an Eagles' record with a 45-yard field goal. Smith finished with 57 points, connecting on 7 of 12 field goals and 36 of 37 extra points. He also excelled on kickoffs, putting most of them into the end zone for touchbacks.
"I think he was a good pick," Hurst said. "He had a great year for us in terms of kickoffs, and he only missed one extra point all year."
The east metro All-Star team has been practicing throughout the week at Heritage High School under the tutelage of its head coach, the Patriots' Chad Frazier.
Frazier is helming a staff of other area coaches, including Eastside assistants Jay Cawthon as offensive coordinator, Troy Hoff as running backs coach and Frankey Iverson as wide receivers coach.
"Not only players but coaches are involved too so it's a big honor," Hurst said. "There's only two or three All-Star games; the North-South one is the big one but this one kicked off last year and I think it's going to continue to grow.
"It's always fun to be picked as an All-Star and be affiliated with something like that when you're picked as the best in the state and get to coach them too."
For the players, selected by the East and West Metro coaching staffs as nominated by their own coaches, it's also a chance to show off in front of college coaches one last time.
"There will be some scouts there, but scouts will like to see this game film knowing they're going against some great competition," Hurst said.