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Clopton, South seek all-star win

GULFPORT – Coach Tommy Clopton of Brookhaven hopes his South squad can chalk up a victory in Saturday’s 64th Bernard Blackwell All-Star Football Classic. Clopton is serving as head coach tomorrow and Brookhaven defensive coordinator Chaz Allen is coaching the South defensive line.

     Kickoff is at noon in Milner Stadium.

     “Practice is going well,” said Coach Clopton. He turned his back to a stiff northerly wind prior to Thursday afternoon’s practice in Milner Stadium. “The kids are learning a lot and having a good time. They are real upbeat.”

     Representing Brookhaven on the roster are running back Justin Blue and defensive back Jonah Hill. Other area players on the South squad are wide receiver Germie Martin of Bogue Chitto, offensive lineman Cullen Greer of Wesson, offensive tackle Spencer Touchstone of Franklin County, linebacker Cody M. Gilchrist of Jefferson County and linebacker Demetrius Cain and offensive lineman Joseph Nelson, both of Hazlehurst.

     “Justin and Jonah are having a good week of practice,” said Clopton. “Any time you put together  40 players from different schools, it takes a while to adjust.”

     The teams practiced twice Thursday and twice today. Both are headquartered at the Air National Guard base in Biloxi.

     “Demetrius Cain is doing well at linebacker and will be used in several positions,” said Clopton. He said Touchstone is at left offensive tackle. Martin is working at wide receiver and slot.

      “Our plan is for the South to win,” said Clopton. “We are looking for an exciting game.

It’s kind of a David versus Goliath. The North is a huge team. We are going to put our speed and athletic ability to work.”

     He said Allen was enjoying his time coaching the defensive line. “Chaz has some guys who are playing with high motors. We haven’t had much time to talk.”

     Quarterbacking the South are Jamal Hatten of Hattiesburg, Jaylen Woullard of Biloxi and Khadarel Hodge of Mendenhall. All three are mobile quarterbacks with strong passing arms.

     Working with Clopton and Allen as assistant coaches are Ron Rushing of Natchez Cathedral, Anthony Dillon of East Marion, Eric Collins of pearl River Central, Brian Rials of Seminary, and James Herrington of Jefferson County.

     Star Wars: The South leads the series 29-26-4. Last year the South defeated the North 37-10 at Biloxi Stadium.