Football players from Osceola County, and a couple of their coaches, got the chance to do what they do on the field one last time at Thursday’s Central Florida All-Star Game.
St. Cloud Coach Bryan Smart was the head coach of the West All-Stars, which included senior players from Orange, Osceola and Lake counties, and he led the team to a 14-0 win over the East All-Stars.
Gateway’s Phillip Bangura, who scored touchdowns in five different ways on offense, defense and special teams in his career, scored another one Thursday, catching a 27-yard pass from Winter Garden Foundation Academy’s Henry Austad early in the second quarter.
Osceola defensive end Dylan Ruiz, who had 20.5 sacks in 12 games for the Kowboys, added four more for the West team.
Smart got to coach a couple of his players, receivers Koron Perrin and Romeo Medina, as well as Harmony’s Kenneth Torres (receiver) and Reece Allison (kicker/punter), Osceola’s Logan Owens (offensive lineman) and Tohopekaliga’s Nathan Isaac (defensive end/linebacker) and Blake McCullough (defensive back).
County coaches got to share in the fun. Smart was joined by Harmony, Liberty and Gateway head coaches Don Simon, Brandon Pennington and Marlin Roberts (who joked, “Bryan helped me get my only win of the season”), Osceola offensive line coach Abre Leggins, Tohopekaliga offensive coordinator Brett Munroe and St. Cloud assistant coach Brian Palone. Former St. Cloud head coach and current East River assistant Mike Short was the West’s defensive coordinator.
“I couldn’t have done it with the help of guys that I’m used to competing against but for once we were on the same side,” Smart said “I learned so much from them and we had such a great time and the kids were absolutely amazing. We will never forget the experience.”