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BA is well represented at MAIS All-Star Game

DAILY LEADER / SUBMITTED / Representing Brookhaven Academy in the 2013 MAIS All-Star game at Mississippi College are (from left) Travis Thornton (50), Cody Thornhill (63), Coach Tripp McCarty and Landon Nettles (33).

DAILY LEADER / SUBMITTED / Representing Brookhaven Academy in the 2013 MAIS All-Star game at Mississippi College are (from left) Travis Thornton (50), Cody Thornhill (63), Coach Tripp McCarty and Landon Nettles (33).

After outstanding high school football careers, three Brookhaven Academy seniors have been chosen to participate in the 2013 MAIS All-Star game this Friday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. on the campus of Mississippi College. BA Head Coach Tripp McCarty has also been selected as an assistant coach on the South squad.

The All-Star game consists of a group of seniors, representing all districts and schools, chosen by the MAIS coaches. The players and coaches will stay on the campus of Mississippi College throughout the week preparing for the game.

Brookhaven Academy trio of tailback Landon Nettles, lineman Travis Thornton and center Cody Thornhill have spent many hours in the weight room and on the practice field together and will have the opportunity to go out on Friday night one last time after being selected to represent the Cougars in the annual All-star event.

Landon Nettles,  played running back and linebacker for the Cougars, in addition to being the team’s kickoff specialist his senior season. He was the leader for the Cougar rushing attack with 565 yards on 120 carries despite missing three games due to an injury.

He has rushed for eight touchdowns his senior season and amassed 3,290 yards rushing and 43 touchdowns throughout his career at BA. On the defensive side of the ball in 2013, Nettles accounted for 35 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one interception and one quarterback sack on the season. For his career, Nettles has more than 200 tackles on his resume.

Nettles said, commenting on his career at BA and being selected to play in the all-star game, “It’s an honor and privilege be selected to the All-Star football team. I’ve had the opportunity to play with some very talented athletes during my time at BA. I am humbled to represent BA on the football field one last time.”

Nettles looks forward to the opportunity to play with Thornhill and Thornton one last time, “Big T (Thornton) and I go way back. I can’t say enough about Travis and his ability to play both sides of the ball. He is one of the best offensive linemen around and for a big guy, he is really quick.” Nettles said.

“Cody was the quarterback on our offensive line. The center has to put everything in motion and he worked really hard to perfect his position.” Nettles added.

Asked about playing for Coach Tripp McCarty this week.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play one last game for my coach,” Nettles replied. “It will make this week even more special and fun. Coach McCarty is a great coach, a lot of fun to be around, always positive and will bring a lot to this team.”

Travis Thornton,  has always been counted on to be the anchor upfront for the Cougars. A three-year starter on the offensive line, Thornton was selected first team all-conference in District 5 AA, first team all-state offensive lineman in 2012 and is sure to receive accolades when the 2013 awards are announced. Defensively, Thornton accounted for 28 tackles, four of those for a loss and two quarterback sacks during the 2013 campaign.

“It’s been a great ride playing football for Brookhaven Academy,” said Thornton. “My greatest memory as a Cougar has to be winning the State Championship my junior year after starting the season with a 3-4 record. Beating Simpson at their place to make it to the title game is right up there with winning it all.”

Asked about his teammates also playing in the All-Star classic, Thornton responded, “It’s such a great honor to be selected to play in the All-Star game and represent BA and especially to get to play one more game with Landon and Cody.

“Landon and I have been side by side since we were babies, and Cody and I have worked on the offensive line together throughout our football careers so I know these guys very well and respect both of them a great deal.”

Thornton commented, “I’ve enjoyed all three years playing under Coach McCarty. He is a great coach and man to be around. It will be great to have him at the All-Star game with us. I’m looking forward to a fun week.”

Cody Thornhill,  rounds out the trifecta for BA and carries a lot of Cougar pride into All-Star week. He was a two-year starter at the center position and was a second team selection to the District 5 AA all-conference team in 2012. Thornhill was counted to make the offensive line blocking assignment calls in the BA no-huddle offense as well getting each play going with a perfect shotgun snap to the quarterback.

“It has been a privilege to play for BA and I’m really excited about the opportunity to strap on the pads one more time and represent our school in the all-star game,” said Thornhill. “My greatest memory on the football field has to be the 2012 State Championship run and going back to Simpson and beating them in the semi-final game. That was pretty sweet.”

Thornhill commented on Nettles and Thornton, “It will be great to play with them one last time. Travis is a great teammate and was always there to help everyone around him to get better. Landon is a hard worker and never took a play off. He is the kind of guy you want to go into battle with.”

Thornhill looks forward to one more time playing for Coach McCarty in the All-Star game, “Coach McCarty is the best. He is a great coach and even a better person. I am so glad I had the opportunity to play under his leadership and look forward to playing in the All-Star game and spending this week with him.”

Thornhill, Nettles and Thornton each commented that it will be great to get to play on the same sideline with many of the guys they have played against in the past especially some of the players from Simpson Academy who they have all been battling with since the seventh grade.

Tripp McCarty,  who completed his third year at BA and directed the Cougars to the 2012 AA State Championship, was excited about the upcoming All-Star week and proud for Thornhill, Nettles and Thornton’s selection to the team. McCarty who will be serving as Offensive Coordinator this week for the South all-stars said, “It’s an honor to be selected to coach some very talented young men and to represent Brookhaven Academy. This is a special week for these guys, and I still cherish the opportunity I had to play in the MAIS All-Star game back in 1994. They will remember this week for the rest of their lives.”

McCarty is proud of his three players on the All-Star squad. “Landon is a great player that had over 3,200 rushing yards in his career. He’s able to run with power and speed then looks to punish tacklers at the end of a run,” McCarty said.

“Travis ranks up there as one if the best offensive lineman I’ve coached in 17 years,” continued McCarty. “We could always count on Travis to give us all he had. He is a great athlete for his size.”

“Cody has been solid as a rock for us during his career at BA,” added McCarty. “He has great technique and is very smart at his position. He is very deserving of this honor.”

McCarty concluded, “All three are not only great athletes but they are solid students and are individuals we want our younger students at BA to look up to.”