Steve Stephens and his Edison High teammates came up a couple of steps short of climbing to the pinnacle of Central Section football. But in his final prep season, he’s not done yet.
Stephens, with his fellow Tigers on hand, was given his jersey signifying his selection to the prestigious Under Armour All-America Game – an honor that places him with the top 100 players nationwide headed Jan. 4 to Orlando, Fla.
The 2017 Tigers secondary was a national all-star gathering of its own this season, with Stephens among a group that included four stellar seniors. Stephens is a University of Oregon commit and McKenzie Barnes has said he will sign with Arizona.
Fresno State is among the schools in the hunt for Elijah Isiah and Teyjohn Herrington.
The Tigers started slowly this season, losing their first three games by a combined score of 73-35. But they won seven of their next eight before a 25-6 loss as the sixth seed to No. 3 Buchanan in the section Division I quarterfinals. The Bears will face No. 1 Central on Friday for the championship.
Late in the season, the Edison program lost longtime assistant and mentor Tony Perry, the “DB Guru” who died Nov. 11.
“It’s truly a blessing to play in the Under Armour All-America Game,” Stephens said. “There’s been so many great dudes who have played in it. A lot of this wouldn’t have been possible without my coach, Tony Perry.”
Stephens is actually Steve IV. His dad, Steve Stephens III, also was on hand for Thursday’s jersey ceremony.
“It means a lot to the family, it means a lot to the community,” the senior Stephens said. “Hard work and dedication pays off.”
Stephens became the second Fresno-area star in two days to be honored by Under Armour. Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez, a Tennessee commit who has said he has Ohio State as a strong second option, received his jersey Wednesday.