MONTGOMERY – Alabama All-Star head coach Terry Curtis praised the Alabama All-Stars’ linebacking corps Wednesday as the 40-member high school football team went through its third and fourth workouts in preparation for Saturday’s 30th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
Kickoff is set for noon Saturday with Raycom Media televising the game live over its Raycom affiliate stations in both states as well as in Memphis and Columbus (GA). The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast the game live over its radio network Saturday.
Curtis, the head coach at UMS-Wright in Mobile, said the players have really bought into their purpose.
“We have several guys already committed, and you sometimes wonder how those guys will react at a game like this,” said Curtis. “These guys, all of them, really coming together as a team. I am proud of their effort and attentiveness. Their attitudes are just outstanding.”
He also said it doesn’t take a football coach long to see just how talented and mature they are.
“Our kids have been through four practices already. They haven’t gotten a lot rest. They are a little tired-legged but we will back some tomorrow with 90-minute practices. They are beginning to realize how they will be representing the AHSAA and the state on Saturday.”
Among the linebackers are 2016 Class 7A state championship game MVP Kholbe Coleman of Hoover and the AHSAA’s career tackles leader Thomas Johnston of Spanish Fort. Add in Oxford’s Kenney Britt, an Auburn commitment, Buckhorn’s Will Ignont, who is heading to Tennessee, Jackson-Olin standout and Auburn commitment T.D. Moultry and Saint James’ Sterling Jones. “That’s six very good ones,” Curtis said.
He also singled out the defensive backs, especially Jeff Davis’ Zyon Gilbert, Muscle Shoals’ Jordyn Peters, Florence’s J’Marick Woods and Enterprise’s Marcus Jones. “Marcus is small, but he is so quick,” Curtis said. “He will likely be our kick return man.”
Pell City’s Kent Foster, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive and defensive lineman, joined the squad Tuesday night, replacing injured Hewitt-Trussville defensive lineman Christian Smith.
Curtis also said the wide receivers have a lot of talent. “They are special,” he said.
The head coach, who has been involved with the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game since its inception in 1988, said several of this year’s players – on both squads – have bright futures.
“We will see and hear a lot from them at the next level,” he said.
TEAMS HEAR BOBBY HUMPHREY: The two all-star squads ate dinner at Wynlakes Country Club Wednesday night with former University of Alabama All-America running back Bobby Humphrey the keynote speaker. The 1989 AFC Rookie of the Year focused on what he calls the best advice he ever got: “Change is possible through a relationship with Christ.”
Mississippi also announced that its honorary team captain is former WDAM TV sports director Mitchell Williams, now working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the Hattiesburg area. Alabama’s honorary captain is Daphne head football coach Kenny King, a defensive star who played in the All-Star game in 1999. He had an outstanding college career at Alabama and in standout pro career with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL.