HATTIESBURG, MS – Alabama and Mississippi all-star squads went through two more practice sessions Thursday and one practice Friday morning as the high school seniors finalized preparations for Saturday’s 29th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game.
Kickoff is set for noon.
“We have had a great week,” said Alabama head coach Mark Freeman of Thompson High School.
Quarterbacks Tyler Johnston of Spanish Fort and Ty Pigrome of Clay-Chalkville will be leading the offense as Alabama strives to win its eighth straight game in the series and 22nd overall since its inception in 1988. The game, being played in Mississippi for the first time, will be played at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus the University of Southern Mississippi.
Alabama all-star fullback Jarrion Street of Hewitt-Trussville has committed to Ole Miss and running back La’Mical Perine of Theodore has committed to Florida. The Gators and Alabama each have three commitments on the squad. The Crimson Tide lists wide receiver T.J. Simmons of Clay-Chalkville, offensive lineman Deonte Brown of Austin and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams of Wenonah. The Gators also list Hoover defensive end Jeremiah Moon and Park Crossing defensive back Jeawon Taylor among their commitments.
Also selected to the Alabama All-Star squad are Auburn commitments John Broussard of Central-Phenix City and Marlon Davidson of Greenville. Broussard is a defensive back and Davidson is a defensive lineman.
Freeman’s assistant coaches include 2015 state championship coaches Brent Hubbert of Maplesville (1A), Keith Etheredge of Leeds (4A) and Steve Mask of St. Paul’s Episcopal (5A). All three coaches have directed their teams to back-to-back Super 7 state titles. Other members of the coaching staff are Jerry Hood of Clay-Chalkville (6A), Paul Benefield of Fyffe (2A), Eric Cohu of Madison Academy (3A), J.B. Wallace of Florence (6A) and Chris Yeager of Mountain Brook (7A). Hood, Benefield and Cohu directed teams to state titles in 2014. Hood and Benefield led Clay-Chalkville and Fyffe back to the finals this year.
Alabama’s All-Stars have won the last year’s game 36-31 on the last play of the game and holds a 21-7 edge in the 28-game series. The game was played at Mobile from 1988-2010 and at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl from 2011-14. It will return to Cramton Bowl in 2016. This will be the fourth year that Cramton Bowl has been the host site.
TV/RADIO INFORMATION: Raycom Media will broadcast the game live over its affiliates in Alabama and Mississippi Saturday and will also live-stream the game. The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast the game live as well over its network. More information is available on line at www.AHSAA.com.
A banquet attended by players and parents is planned for tonight Thad Cochran Center at USM. A special Meet-and-Greet session on will be held at M.M. Roberts Stadium from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday preceded by a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast for players and coaches at the stadium at 8:30 a.m.
Accomplished author and former Erwin High School and Auburn University standout Dr. Rob Pate is Alabama’s honorary captain for Saturday’s 29th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game. Kickoff is set for a noon Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the University of Southern Mississippi campus in Hattiesburg.
Pate was a four-year starter at Birmingham’s Erwin High School in football, basketball and baseball where he earned All-State and Super All-State honors in football. An outstanding student, he was also named the Class 5A Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1997.
Chosen to play in the Alabama Mississippi Game in 1997, he was named captain by his teammates and helped Alabama win 10-6.
He then attended Auburn University on football scholarship where he was four-year starter in the Tigers’ secondary. He earned All-Conference and was a two-time GTE Academic All-America All-District selection, a four-time SEC Honor Roll recipient, and the Pat Dye Leadership Award winner. Pate graduated from Auburn University in May 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and spent a year with the San Diego Chargers.
Injuries cut his NFL career short and he opted for medical school where he graduated from the UAB School of Optometry in May 2007 – earning Dean’s List every quarter in Optometry School. He currently practices in Auburn. He lives in Chelsea with his wife of 9 years, Dana, and their three daughters, Claire McKinley, Ellie Brooklyn, and Jenna Kathryn.
Very popular with Auburn fans, Dr. Pate has authored two books, including his latest, A Tiger’s Walk, which chronicles his battles with the highs and lows of championships and losing seasons, coaching hirings and firings, and personal success and tragedy – as well as giving poignant insights into the daily lives of college football players as they strive to also be college students.
He also authored Memoirs of an Auburn Football Player, which was published in 2004.
Dr. Rob Pate is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Alabama Optometric Association, served as president of the Birmingham Area Optometric Society in 2013, the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce and the Birmingham Auburn Club. He served as Alabama Special Olympics Opening Eyes Chairman in 2012. He earned induction into the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society, was named Southern Council of Optometrists’ Young Optometrist of the Year in 2015 and the American Optometric Association Young Optometrist of the Year in 2013.
Alabama holds a 21-7 edge in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star series including a current seven-game winning streak dating back to 2007. This marks the first year the game is being played outside Alabama. The Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) is hosting the event which has been a project of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association in conjunction with the AHSAA.
Pate will speak to the two teams Friday night in Hattiesburg at the annual Players & Parents banquet. He will also attend the game on Saturday and take part in the pre-game ceremonies.
2015 ALABAMA ALL-STAR ROSTER
J. B. Wallace
Mark Freeman, Thompson High School
Brent Hubbert, Maplesville High School
Jerry Hood, Clay-Chalkville High School
Paul Benefield, Fyffe High School
Eric Cohu, Madison Academy
J. B. Wallace, Florence High School
Chris Yeager, Mountain Brook High School
Steve Mask, Saint Paul's Episcopal School
AUBURN - Bob Jones High School’s boys and Auburn High School’s girls repeated as state champions Saturday in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 6A/7A division as the 56th annual State Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Center. St. Paul’s Episcopal also won its second straight Class 1A/5A state boys’ and girls’ crowns. The two-division state meet is in its second year. From 1960 to 2013, the AHSAA swimming championships had just one boys’ division for all schools. The girls, which competed for the first time in 1963, had one division from 1963 to 2013. Bob Jones totaled 250 points and runner-up Auburn had 173 in the 6A/7A boys’ final team standings. St. Paul’s tallied 113 points and Randolph 89 to top the 1A/5A team rankings. In the girls’ competition Auburn had 234 points to beat runner-up Huntsville (180). St. Paul’s scored 78 points to nip Pope John Paul II (71.5) in the 1A/5A girls’ division. All swimmers in each division competed in just one individual competition. Senior Helen Legg of Fairhope became just the second girl in AHSAA swimming history to win four straight diving titles. She scored 352.80 to win the girls’ 1-meter diving event for the fourth straight year. Colleen Edmonds of Auburn is the only other diving to win four diving championships. She won four in a row from 1988-91. Opelika sophomore Conner Pruitt won his second 1-meter diving title in a row with a 498.40 score -- up 90 points from his 2014 winning total. Several state-meet records fell Saturday in the swimming competition. Bob Jones junior Andrey Tretyakov turned in a stellar performance with a new state mark in the 200-yard individual medley (1:49.88) and the 100-yard butterfly (48.07 seconds). He also swam a leg in the Patriots’ winning 200-yard medley relay effort which broke the previous state record held by McGill-Toolen since 2012. Mark Johnston, Andrew Sterns, Derek Sander and Tretyakov turned in a winning time of 1:34.52 to win the event and beat McGill’s 1:35.28 mark. Bob Jones beat its own state record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, winning Saturday with a 1:25.57 time to nip the old mark by 37/100ths of a second. Tretyakov swam the third leg, teaming with Sander, Sterns and Logan Black to earn the win and the new record. In the girls’ competition, UMS-Wright junior Paige Madden, who came into the meet holding state-meet records in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, added the 200-yard freestyle time to her collection with a winning time of 1:48.39. The previous record holder, Kobie Melton of Athens, set the mark in 2014 with a time of 1:49.97. Madden also won the 500-yard freestyle Saturday. Anna-Julia Kutsch of Altamont tied the state mark in the 50-yard freestyle winning the event in 23.09 seconds. Megan Molnar of Auburn has held the record since 2010. Auburn’s 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Maggie Casey, Annie Frances Dallas, Peyton Dowdle and Anny Kate McGinty won with a state-record time of 1:38.27. The time erased the previous mark (1:38.50) set by Athens in 2013.
Boys Team Scoring (Top 10) Class 6A-7A Bob Jones 250; Auburn 173; James Clemens 157; McGill-Toolen 138; Huntsville 113; Fairhope 75; Prattville 66; Spain Park 63; Northview 60; Daphne 55. Class 1A-5A| St. Paul’s Episcopal 113; Randolph 89; Faith Academy 59; Pope John Paul II Catholic 50; Holy Spirit Catholic 32; Oneonta 27; Westminster Christian 26; Alabama Christian 18; Jackson 5; Satsuma 4.
Individual Winners 200-yard medley: Bob Jones, 1:34.52; (Mark Johnston, Andrew Sterns, Andrey Tretyakov, Derek Sander). AHSAA state record. 200-yard freestyle: Derek Sander, Bob Jones, 1:38.31. 200-yard IM: Andrey Tretyakov, Bob Jones, 1:49.88; AHSAA state record. 50-yard freestyle: Andrew Shea, James Clemens, 21.02. 100-yard freestyle: Derek Sander, Bob Jones, 44.60; AHSAA state record. 100-yard butterfly: Andrey Tretyakov, Bob Jones,48.07; AHSAA state record. 500-yard freestyle: Sadler McKeen, Briarwood, 4:31.22. 200-yard freestyle relay: Bob Jones, 1:25.57 (Andrew Sterns, Logan Black, Andrey Tretyakov, Derek Sander); AHSAA state record. 100-yard backstroke: James Courtney, St. Paul's, 49.89. 100-yard breaststroke: Andrew Sterns, Bob Jones, 58.03. 400-yard freestyle relay: Auburn, 3:12.49 (Daniel Padgett, Brady Stabler, Garrison Chandler, Connor Duggan). 1-meter diving: Conner Pruitt, Opelika, 498.40.