Summer all-star games lost in shuffle

LOS ANGELES -- They are the last of a dying breed, a true gridiron prep graduation. Once they were the unofficial gridiron transition from high school to college, a seminal moment in a young athlete’s life and the community in which he grew up.

Chances are great that a majority of those that are participating in The Opening, an invitation-only get-together of the nation’s elite high school football players, will never participate in them once they have concluded their prep career.

“They” and “them” refer to summer high school all-star football games for graduated seniors -- once an integral part of the summer fun. With the smell of BBQ in the air and footballs being tossed from one end of the parking lot to the other, the games had their own niche on the summer calendar.