Area players, coaches in all-star game

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 14, 2008

Brookhaven’s Darion Smith plans to be there and so does OleBrook head coach Tucker Peavey. They are among the members of theSouth All-Star Football Team which reports Monday to the HindsCommunity College campus in Raymond.

Smith and Peavey, along with the rest of the North and Southall-star squads, will face three sweat-soaked days of practiceprior to Thursday night’s 59th Bernard Blackwell All-Star FootballClassic, which is sponsored by Athletic, Inc. Kickoff is 7 p.m. inMississippi College’s Hale-Robinson Stadium.

Representing Wesson on the South squad are Coach Tommy Clopton andrunning back Roy Williams. From Lawrence County is linebackerJulius Magee. From Jefferson County are quarterback Percy Turnerand defensive back Cornelius Smith.

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Serving as head coach for the South squad is Todd Mangum of OceanSprings. Peavey is coaching the offensive line and Clopton iscoaching receivers.

Peavey, like Clopton, is making his first all-star game appearance.There have been several minicamps leading up to the event. Severalselected players elected to skip the game, among them offensivetackle Brandon McDowell (6-6, 295) of McComb who withdrew lastweek.

By contrast, Smith (6-3, 260) said he was looking forward to thegame and playing center. He has signed a scholarship withCopiah-Lincoln Community College and so has Magee.

“I feel good about being on the all-star team,” said Smith. “It’san honor to be chosen. We have some good players.

“I’m happy Coach Peavey is our line coach.”

It’s been a busy summer for Smith. Besides working in the meatdepartment at Wal-Mart SuperCenter, he has been taking courses atCo-Lin and working out with the team four afternoons a week.

“It’s been pretty hectic,” said Smith. “I work nights and go toschool in the mornings. In the afternoons, I work out with theteam.”

Smith has completed courses in English and Economy. His nextsubject is Computer Concepts.

“I’ve been trying to keep in shape,” said Smith. “Coach Peaveypushed us hard in high school and prepared us.”

Besides Smith, other South offensive linemen are Alan Michael Quinn(5-9, 275) of Northeast Lauderdale, Preston Cochran (6-3, 290) ofNortheast Jones, Darrion Simpson (6-3, 260) of Moss Point, ChaseSherman (6-4, 275) of D’Iberville, and Eric Hollis (6-4, 280) ofPascagoula.

“I hope everybody is in pretty good shape because it’s going to behot,” said Peavey. “I hope I’m in good shape.”

The teams will practice twice on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Peavey said he was disappointed with the number of players who haddropped out of the game. “It’s awful.”

Clopton said he would like to see the game moved up to early June.That might reduce the number of no-shows and dropouts.Traditionally, the game runs in conjunction with the MississippiAssociation of Coaches annual convention and clinic.

“With the game being so late in the summer, many kids havedropped out,” said Clopton.

Among the prime receivers are Bobby Felder from McComb, KevinBarkley from Moss Point Jamey Moffett from Bay Springs and RafaelPollard from Laurel.

Williams (5-11, 195), a key to Wesson’s runner-up district finishand state playoff appearance, will be a running back Thursdaynight. He is expected to sit out his freshman year at Co-Lin.

As a senior at Wesson, Williams rushed for 1,076 yards and 11touchdowns.

Magee (6-1, 240) has signed with Co-Lin. He was Lawrence County’sleader on defense, collecting 77 tackles, including 58 solo stops.He also recovered 2 fumbles.

Turner (6-1, 182) and Emil Jones (6-3, 215) of North Forrest willquarterback the South.

Listed as South running backs are Cedric Blanks (6-0, 195) ofMeridian, Kendrick Kennedy (5-9, 185) of Laurel and JonathanDeflanders (6-0, 190) of Pascagoua.

All-Star notes: The South holds a 26-24-2 lead in the series andwon last year’s game 21-13.