Carl Rapp remembers it like it was yesterday.

A tough but not large - at least by today's standards - offensive guard for Fullerton Junior College, Rapp walked through the tunnel to one of the most revered football stadiums in America, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

It was 1965, and Rapp was selected to play in the annual Junior Rose Bowl game, an honored bestowed on only the best players in the area. Participating in the ensuing spirited contest was all he had ever dreamed.

"It was a great opportunity," Rapp said. "It's something that's lived with me my whole life."

Rapp, the football scholarship chairman for the Knights of Columbus Victor Valley Council 4228 that meets in Hesperia, envisions a similar football tournament for today's best young players.

Rapp envisions an all-star game that pits the best high school seniors on the Victor Valley's south side against their counterparts on the Valley's north side, perhaps pitting the Desert Sky league against the Mojave River. The first Knights of Columbus All-Star games could be held at an area high school stadium, perhaps Apple Valley's Newton Bass Stadium, which is easily accessible to the various Victor Valley communities. Later, the tournament could move to Maverick Stadium, which is capable of holding larger crowds.

Rapp believes a Knights of Columbus High Desert All-Star Football Game could happen in spring of 2008, just before the end of the 2007-08 high school year.

Athletic prowess wouldn't be the sole prerequisite for invitation on one of the teams. Solid grade point averages along with letters of recommendation would also be requirements that would make a player's place on an all-star team especially meaningful, according to Rapp.
But to make it happen, Rapp and other tournament organizers would have to solicit help from the community, namely residents and local businesses who want to help make a difference. Different level sponsorships would be sold along with advertising.

"We'd like to have it sponsored by people in the High Desert," said Rapp, a retired electrical contractor. "If we're going to make this thing work, we're going to have to have the help of the community."

Rapp isn't all talk. Over the past few years, he has spearheaded a recycling program at his church, Holy Family Catholic Church. The drive has earned the church an additional $2,500 for a special program.

"He's worked his behind off," said Sam Dearman, a fellow Knights of Columbus member who avidly supports Rapp's dream.

Dearman is confident Rapp is on his way to making his dream into a reality, and that's good for everyone.

"It's a win for us, it's a win for the community," Dearman said. "Most of all, it's a win for the kids."

For more information on the Knights of Columbus High Desert All-Star Football Game, call Carl Rapp at 956-5791.