It's hard to believe, but Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game celebrates its 35th year tonight in San Jose.
Past stars of the Wedemeyer Classic include former Arizona Cardinal Patt Tillman, quarterback Jeff Garcia, former 49er Carl Monroe, former Dallas Cowboy Doug Cosbie, the 49ers Jeff Ulbrich and recently drafted quarterback Trent Edwards from Los Gatos High School.
Wedemeyer was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1977. At the time he was the head football coach at Los Gatos High School. Even after his diagnosis he continued to teach and coach as long as he physically was able.
All these decades later he has lost the ability to speak and walk, but continues to give motivational speeches at colleges, medical conferences and churches. His wife Lucy and a specially designed computer help him communicate.
He is expected to be at the BBQ prior to the Wednesday kick off and may be able to stay through the game depending on how he feels, according to organizers.
The game features the top 2009 high school senior football players from the Silicon Valley.
Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium. Tickets are $15 and will benefit the Charlie Wedemeyer Family Outreach program, along with other local charities sponsored by the Almaden Valley Rotary Club.
Almaden Valley Rotary Club President Kenneth Tavernier says they are excited to bring the game back to a college field.
"Our dedicated coaches along with all of our talented players will make for a great game," Tavernier said.
This year's coaches are Mike Machado from Valley Christian High School and Shawn Thomas from Leigh High School.