ATWATER — It's not often you see a football player donning a Speedo in the offseason. Chowchilla's Brandon Beaton did it every spring during his high school career.
Beaton was so fast in the pool that he'll be wearing football pads for the last time on Friday night during the 26th annual North/South Rotary All-Star game.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. at Chowchilla High.
Beaton will become a full-time swimmer when he attends Concordia University in Irvine.
"Football was the sport I started playing first," Beaton said. "I'm going to miss it a lot. I'm going to miss the contact."
Like Beaton, Buhach Colony's Tanner Gleason will turn his attention on another sport after Friday night.
Gleason will play soccer at Seattle University.
Gleason was the kicker for the Thunder team that won the Central California Conference title and reached the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals.
In his one and only season, Gleason kicked five field goals and recorded 21 touchbacks.
Gleason was recruited to play football by BC coach Kevin Swartwood.
"Swarty was looking for a kicker," Gleason said. "He knew my dad and my family and asked if I would do it. I was excited to try it.
"The pressure was different. Kicking a field goal is a different situation. It's one big play. It's not like soccer where you're doing something in the flow of the game."
Beaton played a big role for the Redskins last fall as a wingback and a defensive back.
He was second on the team in rushing with 821 yards and 10 touchdowns on 105 carries.
"I love the competitiveness of football," Beaton said. "You have to beat the guy across from you."
In swimming, it's about beating the guy next to you.
If there's one similarity between the two sports, it's the amount of time you have to put into practice to be successful.
"You have to put a lot of work into both sports. I like to work hard," he said.
Gleason wasn't ready to say this will be his last football game ever.
There is the possibility of finding somewhere to kick after his soccer career is over at Seattle.
"I'm definitely excited to play in this game," Gleason said. "If this will be my last football game, well, we'll see. I'd be open to playing football somewhere down the line."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The Merced County All-Star Game
Saturday/At Merced College
Le Grand — Alex Martinez, 1B/OF; Carlos Del Real, Inf/OF/P; Mario Zavala, 3B/P; Alex Bucio, Inf/P. Merced — Mike Nelson, P/1B; Andrew Jaurique, OF. Golden Valley — Blake Rice, OF; Tyler Arnsberg, Uti. Mariposa — Austin Garibay, OF; Nick Leard, P/OF; Jarrett Leonard, P/1B. Dos Palos — Kevin Shofield, OF/P; Ryan Yriarte, C/Inf; Travis Martin, 1B/P. Stone Ridge Christian — Logan Wilson, C; Chaim Beardsley, P/OF.
Livingston — Charles Brown, OF; Chris Cacal, Inf; Brian Alvarez, Uti. Hilmar — Darren Clarot, C; Kurt Ferreira, OF: Tyler Herd, P/1B; Matt Tyler, 3B/Uti. Delhi — Tony Hernandez, P. Atwater — Jerod Cook, C. Buhach Colony — Russell Molina, 2B; Dalton Jeffries, 3B; Kert Woods, SS; Bradley Bertuccio, OF; Robby Dallas, P/1B. Los Banos — Derrick Velasquez, P/SS; Zack Brazil, 2B; Jalen Bourbon, 3B; Matt Nunes, OF/P.