CJ senior set for all-star double duty

C.J. Riazzi is ticketed for the ultimate all-star double duty this weekend.

A two-sport standout at Chaminade Julienne High School, the 6-foot-4 senior receiver will be a member of the Divisions IV-VII South team in Saturday’s Ohio High School Football coaches Association North-South Classic football games at Welcome Stadium.

On Sunday, he’ll join the South Divisions III-IV team in the North-South Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association all-star games at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus.

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” said Riazzi, who’ll play football at the Air Force Academy At Colorado Springs, Colo., this fall.

“I know a lot of people don’t like to be in these all-star games because they think they’re going to get hurt. When I had the opportunity to do something that no one in my school had ever done or maybe in the state – playing in both – I took that as an honor. I’m more than glad to play in both.”

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The Classic has been split into two football games and has moved from Ohio Stadium in Columbus to Dayton this year. Divisions IV-VII will kick off at 11 a.m. followed by Divisions I-III at 3 p.m.

The four girls and boys North-South basketball games will start at noon on Sunday.

Riazzi was a rare transfer from Alter to CJ for his junior and senior seasons. He didn’t play football until a senior for the Eagles.

“I honestly couldn’t tell you if I could have played football at Alter,” he said. “I look at it as an unknown blessing.”

Joining him on the South team is CJ defensive back Will Peterson. CJ coach Marcus Colvin is a South assistant, as are former Carroll coach Steve Bartlett (Miami Trace) and Covington coach Dave Miller.

Area players on the South Divisions I-III team are Landon Brazile and Vayante Copeland (Thurgood Marshall), Tristan Davis and Trey McFadden (Wayne) and Terry Ramsey (Northmont). Former Thurgood head coach Earl White, now at Belmont, is a South assistant.

“It’s almost like coaching a small college team,” White said. “There’s so much talent at every position. I’m just thrilled and excited to be afforded the opportunity to be coaching with some of the best coaches in the state. Guys who’ve been doing it a long time and doing it well.”

Copeland, the D-III defensive player of the year last fall, tweaked a hamstring and won’t play. The defending D-II state 400-meter champ, he’s hoping to recover and run track. He also was the only area player to be invited to the first Border Classic all-star football game between Ohio and Michigan in June.

All the North and South football teams will have two-a-day practices at Welcome on Thursday and Friday. They’ll all stay at the Dayton Marriott across the Great Miami River on South Patterson Blvd.

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